Weekly economic review (Apr.20-24)

No serious devaluation of manat - Azerbaijani Central Bank

A major devaluation of the national currency in Azerbaijan is not expected in case of oil price stabilization, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Alim Guliyev said.

He made the remarks at a meeting of the committee of the Milli Majlis (Parliament) of Azerbaijan on economic policy.

He went on to add that CBA will continue to regulate the rate of manat, and as one can see, certain stability is observed on the market.

He said that the Central Bank intends to use reserves at its disposal for further stabilization of the manat.

The head of the Central Bank Elman Rustamov previously said that the devaluation of the manat was associated with a decline in oil prices since the middle of 2014.

The decline in the CBA foreign exchange reserves has been observed since July 2014. Earlier, this happened slowly (around $20-50 million). But their volume has sharply reduced (more than $1 billion monthly) since December. This is associated with an increase in demand for dollar supply in the country.

The official exchange rate on April 24 is 1.0502 AZN/USD.

Since the beginning of 2015, foreign exchange reserves owned by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), decreased by $4.29 billion (31.2 percent) - from $13.76 billion to $9.47 billion as of March 31.

The CBA continues participating on the foreign exchange market of the country after the manat rate adjustment, CBA chairman of board Elman Rustamov said earlier.

Rustamov explained this by the still ongoing process of dollarization.

The exchange rate of Azerbaijani manat to the US dollar was reduced to 1.05 manat for $1 from Feb.21 (compared to 0.7844 manats earlier), which corresponds to the cheapening of rate by 33.9 percent.

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