Weekly economic review (Sept.28-Oct.2)

Demand for foreign currency stabilizes in Azerbaijan - Central Bank

The current demand for foreign currency on the domestic market of Azerbaijan has stabilized, the deputy chairman of the Azerbaijani Central Bank Khagani Abdullayev said.

He made the remarks during the discussion of the draft state budget for 2016 at the joint session of parliamentary committees on economic policy, social policy, agrarian policy, natural resources, energy and environment, as well as security issues.

"We do not see the need for a sudden change of the manat rate against the US dollar during 2015 and 2016," he said. "Of course, it is planned in view of the fact that oil prices on world markets will not change dramatically."

Deputy chairman of the Central Bank said that in August, the foreign exchange market was under a certain pressure, which was due to the psychological impact of devaluation of national currencies of countries neighboring Azerbaijan, but since mid-September, a stable situation has established on the market.

"At present, the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves exceed $7 billion," said Abdullayev. "We do not expect significant dollarization of the economy of the country, and today the main task of the CBA is to ensure safety of foreign exchange reserves and macroeconomic stability, which will ensure a stable exchange rate of manat."

In August 2015, the currency reserves owned by the Central Bank decreased by $1.186.1 billion (13.95 percent) compared to July - up to $7.3 billion, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.

Since the beginning of 2015, the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves have decreased by $5.365.4 billion (42.3 percent).

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.

However, in May-June 2015, the growth of foreign exchange reserves has resumed. In May, the Central Bank reserves increased to $42.9 million (0.51 percent) compared to April, up to $8.43 billion, and by $89.4 million (1.06 percent) in June. However, after slight growth, reduction of foreign exchange reserves of the CBA continued.

The reduction in foreign exchange reserves is due to in particular the intervention carried out by the Central Bank on the foreign exchange market in order to keep the exchange rate of manat against the US dollar at a stable level.

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