Last week review (Feb.23-27)

Feb. 23

Warba Bank arranges $150 million syndicated facility for Azerbaijani bank

Warba Bank has successfully arranged a $150 million Shari'ah-compliant syndicated facility for financing the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), CPI Financial, a division of CPI (Corporate Publishing International), one of the UAE's leading IT, business and consumer publishing houses reported.

In a press statement, the Bank said it participated with a stake of $20 million in this transaction along with J.P. Morgan Bank, Citigroup, Barwa Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Noor Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank.

Shaheen Al Ghanem, the Deputy CEO of Warba Bank, noted that the transactions are in line with the bank's strategy to expand into new regional and international markets and provide Shari'ah-compliant financing solutions to new and diverse customers.

Feb. 26

Fitch Ratings supports measures on Azerbaijani manat rate depreciation

The Azerbaijani manat rate depreciation will assist fiscal and external adjustment to the lower oil price, Fitch Ratings reported.

"The sharp appreciation of the manat's real effective exchange rate as a result of the depreciation in 2014-2015 of the Russian rouble and Turkish lira would, if sustained, have hampered efforts to develop the non-oil economy in Azerbaijan," the statement says.

However, this also poses risks in terms of the crystallization of contingent liabilities, notably in the banking sector although Azerbaijan's very strong sovereign balance sheet provides a considerable buffer.

The depreciation of the Azerbaijani manat will hurt banking sector capitalisation, Fitch Ratings says. The banks have large numbers of foreign-currency denominated loans and are exposed to losses on short FX positions.

Feb. 27

Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan intend to boost bilateral trade

During his short-term visit to Tashkent Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev met with Uzbekistan's Deputy Prime Minister, chairman of the board of Uzavtosanoat JSC Ulugbek Rozukulov, Economy Minister Galina Saidova and the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Elyor Ganiev.

During the meeting, the sides focused on the measures on increasing the volume of bilateral trade.

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