Review of monetary sector in Azerbaijan (January-August 2015)

The foreign exchange reserves owned by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), decreased by $1.186 billion (13.95 percent) up to $7.3 billion in August 2015 compared to July.

Since early 2015, the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves declined by $5.365 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.

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan twice lowered the tariffs for interbank payments made through the AZIPS system (national interbank real time payment system) in August.

By its other decision, the CBA introduced changes to tariffs for spending cash, according to the message. So, 0.15 percent tariff, applied to large denomination bank notes (50 and 100 manats), has been eliminated. Tariffs for the secondary, subsequent withdrawal and receipt of cash during the day were established at 0.05 percent.

"These solutions are aimed at encouraging a decrease in interest rates," said the message. "The solutions will support optimization of operating costs of banks and reduction of prime cost of financial resources."

The CBA also made a number of decisions, which will serve to strengthening corporate social responsibility, while at the same time they will encourage financial lending institutions to offer products that meet the needs of consumers.

In order to protect the rights of consumers of banking services and the transparency of the cost of credit products, the CBA has approved "Methodological guidance on responsible lending in banks and non-bank credit organizations". This guidance provides recommendations to credit institutions on determination of conformity of monthly debt load of consumers to their income, as well as assessment of equivalence of credit conditions with the needs and goals of consumers.

"The use of the methodological guidance in a whole will develop the credit institutions' skills of responsible lending and consumers' skills of responsible borrowing," said the message. "The adoption of guidance is an important step towards a unified approach in the area of ​​consumer lending."

Against the background of recent events in the region and the world economy, the central bank will continue to take measures to preserve macroeconomic stability, economic growth and diversification of the national economy, as well as measures to enlarge access to financial services of economic entities, ensure responsible lending, lower interest rates on loans.

Currency market and manat rate

In early August, the Central Bank of Azerbaijan stated that the rate of dollar to manat slightly increased. So, the official exchange rate was set at 1.0495 manat on Aug. 4, 2015 compared to 1.0493 manat on Aug. 3.

The official exchange rate on August 5, 2015 increased up to the devaluation marker and was set at 1.0499 manat.

The dollar rate stabilized at the devaluation marker in the subsequent days of the month and the manat rate versus the US dollar further strengthened.

So, the official exchange rate on August 17, 2015 was set at 1.0488 manat compared to 1.0485 manat as of August 14.

As of August 31, 2015, the dollar rate was set at 1.0480 manat compared to 1.0479 manat as of August 28, 1.0475 manat as of August 27, 1.0470 manat versus US dollar on August 24.

The euro rate as of August differed from the US dollar rate by strong volatility. So, as of August 4, the euro rate was set at 1.1482 manat compared to 1.1524 manat on Aug. 3. The euro exchange rate as of August 24 was set at 1.1994 manat and exceeded the exchange rate peak at 1.1969 manat on May 18 and 1.195 manat on February 21. The euro rate on August 25 was set at record 1.2078 manat. A drop in the euro rate was observed later. It was set at 1.1789 manat per euro on August 31.

Azerbaijani monetary market

The CBA's important objective is to manage the money supply at an adequate macroeconomic and financial stability level, in terms of continuous growth of foreign exchange reserves of the country and increased liquidity of the banking system.

A decrease in the foreign exchange reserves of the country, as well as the CBA decision as of February 16 about holding the exchange rate policy on the basis of the mechanism of the dual currency basket that includes the dollar and the euro, significantly affect the amount of the monetary aggregates in subsequent months.

The money supply rate (M2) (cash in circulation (outside banks) and remainders in the domestic currency on accounts of non-financial organizations, financial (excluding credit) organizations and physical entities) decreased by 12.05 percent in August 2015 compared to the previous month and by 45.3 percent compared to the same period of 2014, the Azerbaijani Central Bank's report as of January-August 2015 said.

The money supply rate (M2) amounted to 9.546 billion manat as of August 2015 compared to 10.853 billion manat as of July 2015 and 17.452 billion manat as of September 1, 2014, according to the report.

The amount of cash money supply (M0) decreased by 47.5 percent during a year and amounted to 5.503 billion manat compared to 10.488 billion manat as of late August 2014. M0 decreased by 13.7 percent in August 2015 compared to late July (6.374 billion manat).

As of August 2015, Broad Money Supply (M3) totaled 17.734 billion manat or 16.76 percent less compared to the same period in 2014 (21.306 billion manat) and by 5.95 percent less as of late July 2015 (18.855 billion manat).

The transaction money (M1) decreased by 45.5 percent during a year and amounted to 7.089 billion manat compared to 13.001 billion manat as of August 2014 and decreased by 13.7 percent compared to the previous month (8.214 billion manat).

Parameters of monetary market, in billion manat:

Volume, Jan.-Aug.

Money mass in extensive understating (М3)

17734,27

Money mass on manat (М2)

9545,7

Cash in manat (М0)

5502,8

Non-cash in manat

4042,9

As of September 1, 2015, the bank reserves in Azerbaijan amounted to 762.7 million manat, which is 6.5 percent more than in the same period of 2014 (716 million manat). They reduced by 1.94 percent in August, the Azerbaijani Central Bank's report as of January-August 2015 says.

The expanded monetary base in Azerbaijan totaled 6.886 billion manat as of Sept. 1, 2015.
In annual terms, the monetary base in Azerbaijan decreased by 41.95 percent. For comparison, as of August 2014, this figure was 11.863 billion manat. The monetary base reduced by 11.64 percent in Azerbaijan compared to late July (7.793 billion manat).

As of September 1, 2015, the monetary base in manat amounted to 6.352 billion manat versus 11.744 billion manat as of September 1, 2014.

In the mentioned period, the volume of money in circulation amounted to 6.118 billion manat, while this figure was 11.134 billion manat as of Sept. 1, 2014.

The ratio of the mass of cash in circulation to the monetary base was 88.9 percent as of September 1, 2015, decreasing 5 percent compared to the same index as of September 1, 2014.

Azerbaijan's loan market

Azerbaijani banks increased lending to the economy by 16.1 percent in January-August 2015 compared to the same period of 2014, the report said.

The bank lending volume decreased by 0.45 percent (91.7 million manat) in August 2015 compared to the previous month.

According to the CBA, as of September 1, 2015, the total volume of loans granted by banks totaled 20.1 billion manat, including 11.43 billion manat (56.87 percent) - in national currency and 8.67 billion manat (43.13 percent ) - in freely convertible currency.

The loans in manat have reduced by 15.37 percent but the loans in dollars increased by 72.07 percent since early 2015.

This ratio hit 73 and 27 percent in January 2015, but 60 and 40 percent accordingly in January-February, 59.17 и 40.83 percent accordingly in the first quarter.

For comparison, the banks delivered loans worth 17.309 billion manat (around 12.691 billion manat in national currency and 4.618 billion manat in freely convertible currency) as of August 2014.

Of the total portfolio, borrowings and loans worth 1.334 billion manat (6.64 percent) were overdue in January-August 2015.

The statistics of overdue loans does not include similar loans of Aqrarkredit non-banking credit institution.

The number of bad loans is growing in Azerbaijan.

The share of bad loans in a total loan portfolio of the banks amounted to 6 percent in early 2015, while 6.64 percent as of September 1, 2015, Javanshir Abdullayev, the director of the Azerbaijan Bank Training Center, said.

"Some banks have restricted lending," he said. "After the rate of the manat to the US dollar changed, the solvency of borrowers with loans in foreign currency, worsened. The demand for dollar loans was low. Of course, all this will affect the banking sector."

The volume of short-term loans amounted to 4.323 billion manat (including overdue loans worth 476.7 million manat) as of August 2015 compared to 3.586 billion manat (including overdue loans worth 411.46 million manat) a year earlier. The volume of short-term loans in the economy increased by 20.5 percent in a year.

The volume of long term loans amounted to 15.773 billion manat (including 857 million manat worth overdue loans) as of January-August 2015, compared to 13.723 billion manat (including 527.3 million manat worth overdue loans) as of August 2014. The volume of long term loans has increased by 14.94 percent in a year.

The credit portfolio of the state banks in the country hit 7.262 billion manat with the specific weight of 36.1 percent, while private banks issued loans worth around 12.248 billion manat with a specific weight of 60.9 percent.

The remaining 2.9 percent fell to the share of non-bank credit organizations which issued 586 million manat, according to the CBA.

Azerbaijani banks increased the consumer lending volume by 8.2 percent in January-July 2015 compared to the same period of 2014, said the Central Bank of Azerbaijan's report.

The consumer lending volume decreased by 1.16 percent in August compared to July.

The consumer lending volumes decreased after the devaluation of the manat rate [the dollar rate increased by almost 34 percent February 21]. It increased by almost 9 percent in February. The banks reduced the consumer lending volume by 1.4 percent in March, 1.2 percent in April, 1.88 percent in May, 1.97 percent in June and 1.5 percent in July.

The share of consumer loans in a total volume of the banks' loan investments decreased from 43 percent as of February up to 38.2 percent as of August and amounted to 7.68 billion manat.

For comparison: their share accounted for 41 percent, and the amount of issued loans - 7.1 billion manat in January-August 2014.

The trade and services (14.2 percent or 2.85 billion manat) ranked second on the share in the total loan portfolio of banks. The construction and real estate sector (13.7 percent or 2.74 billion manat) ranked third.

Around 10.6 percent of the total volume of lending to the real sector of Azerbaijan was directed to the industry and production. In nominal terms it amounts to 2.14 billion manat.

The share of transport and communication hit 5 percent (1 billion manat), agriculture and processing reached 4.7 percent (949 million manat), energy, chemistry, and natural resources - 1.2 percent (242.7 million manat).

The loans given to the population in Azerbaijan's districts totaled 3.312 billion manat as of January-August 2015, or 16.5 percent of the banks' total loan portfolio, the CBA says.

The loans worth 16.784 billion manat were delivered in Baku. Here the loans in national currency (manat) amounted to 9.036 billion manat (53.8 percent).

The average interest rate on loans throughout the country was 13.6 percent in January-August 2015, while in Baku this index stood at 12.2 percent.

The lending volume in the Absheron Economic district totaled 645.05 million manat at an average rate of 19.0 percent.

In other economic districts the lending index was as follows: Aran - 841.8 million manat at a rate of 22.8 percent, Mountainous Shirvan - 115.27 million manat at a rate of 22.8 percent, Ganja-Gazakh - 735.99 million manat at a rate of 19.3 percent, Guba-Khachmaz - 260.07 million manat at a rate of 20.5 percent, Lankaran - 285.77 million manat at a rate of 24 percent, Shaki-Zagatala - 216.60 million manat at a rate of 21.8 percent, the Upper Karabakh - 65.55 million manat at a rate of 19.6 percent, Kalbajar-Lachin - 6.24 million manat at a rate of 17.1 percent, Nakhchivan - 139.76 million manat at a rate of 13.8 percent.

The average interest rate on loans issued by Azerbaijani banks in national currency in August decreased, but in foreign currency - increased.

The average rate on bank lending to the economy of Azerbaijan in national currency amounted to 13.72 percent in August 2015 compared to 13.97 percent in July 2015.

The average interest rate on loans hit 13.81 percent as of early 2015.

The average rate on bank lending in freely convertible currency made up 13.01 percent in August compared to 12.73 percent in the previous month.

The average rate was 14.07 percent in early 2015.

The average rate on bank lending to legal entities in national currency amounted to 9.94 percent compared to 9.87 percent in July 2015 and 9.99 percent as of early 2015.

The average rate on bank lending to corporate clients in freely convertible currency amounted to 9.23 in August compared to 8.83 percent and 9.18 percent accordingly.

As of August, the average rate on bank lending to physical entities in national currency amounted to 17.85 percent compared to 18.29 percent in July 2015, 18.53 percent in early 2015.

The average rate on bank loans to individual customers in freely convertible currency was 21.83 percent compared to 21.46 percent and 21.52 percent in early 2015.

Mortgage lending

The Azerbaijan Mortgage Fund (AMF) under the Azerbaijani Central Bank delivered loans amounting to 71.8 million manat in January-August 2015 or 1.9 percent less than in the same period of 2014, the CBA's report as of January-August 2015 said.

The loans worth 6.6 million manat were delivered through AMF in August, which is 1.5 percent more than in August 2014 (6.5 million manat), the report said.

The total amount of refinancing the loans issued by the banks earlier amounted to 58.7 million manat in August 2015.

Some 29.2 million manat of 50 million manat envisaged for this year have been allocated for social mortgage since early 2015. No funds were transferred from the state budget to the AMF in August 2015.

The average amount issued by AMF authorized banks is 40.700 manat (this figure amounted to 39.978 manat in August 2014), the average term of loan issue - 280 months (278 months), the average interest rate is 6.72 percent (versus 6.82 percent in 2014), and the average monthly payment is 297.5 manat (318.7 manat).

Some 17,536 mortgage loans worth more than 709.7 million manat have been delivered up till now through the fund, including 97.1 million manat in 2014, 112.9 million manat in 2013, 74.77 million manat - in 2012, 95.64 million manat - in 2011, 97.08 million manat - in 2010, 76.9 million manat - in 2009, 70.2 million AZN - in 2007 and 5.6 million manat - in 2006.

Currently, the maximum amount of a common mortgage loan through the AMF is 50,000 AZN at a rate of 8 percent with a payback period of 25 years. Terms under the social mortgage are 50,000 AZN at an annual rate of 4 percent with a payback period of 30 years. The initial payment under a social mortgage is 15 percent, whilst a conventional loan is 20 percent.

Conditions of mortgage lending are as follows: Loans must be issued in Azerbaijani AZN and only to Azerbaijani citizens and the mortgage can only be for an apartment or private house.
The volume of mortgage lending must not exceed 80 percent of the market price and the monthly payment must not exceed 70 percent of the debtor's monthly income. It is compulsory to have an agreement on life insurance.

Preferential conditions are granted to family members of war victims, national heroes, internally displaced persons, civil servants with at least a three years' experience, PhDs and those making special contributions to sport as well as to the military with at least a three-year service term. Each family having the right to such a mortgage can only use the opportunity once.

At present, the authorized banks of the Mortgage Fund are 30 banks (some 43 banks operate in the country).

Some 21 insurance companies [their total number is 26] and 16 appraisal organizations are the participants of the mortgage market.

Azerbaijan's banking sector

The economic cycles, seasonal factors and the attitude of investors, dictated by a variety of causes impact on the dynamics of deposits.

As of Sept. 1, 2015, the total amount of bank deposits and deposits of physical and legal entities drawn by the credit organizations of Azerbaijan totaled 17.658 billion manat, the Azerbaijani Central Bank's report as of Jan.-Aug. 2015 says.

According to the CBA report, the deposit base of banks declined by 3 percent in August, increased by 16.67 percent since early 2015, while in annual terms - increased by 20.6 percent.

For comparison, as of August 1, 2015, the total amount of deposits in Azerbaijani banks amounted to 18.214 billion manat, as of Jan. 1 - 15.453 billion manat, as of September 1, 2014 - 14.558 billion manat.

As of August 2015, the deposits in national currency - manat amounted to 4.434 billion manat, of which 1.666 billion manat - demand deposits, 2.769 billion manat - term deposits.

According to the report, during the period, the deposits in freely convertible currency amounted to 13.224 billion (3.448 billion manat - demand deposits, 9.776 billion manat - term deposits).

Thus, as of September 1, the deposits in manat hit 25.1 percent, in foreign currency - 74.9 percent of the total deposit base of banks. For comparison, as of 2015, some 50.1 percent was formed through manat deposits, while 49.9 percent of the banks' deposit base was formed through the deposits in foreign currency.

As of 2014, the deposits in national currency amounted to 7.743 billion manat, of which 2.734 billion manat - demand deposits, 5.009 billion manat - term deposits. The deposits in foreign currency amounted to 7.710 billion manat, of which 1.799 billion manat - demand deposits, 5.911 billion manat - term deposits.

The volume of the physical entities' deposits in Azerbaijani banks amounted to 7.320 billion manat. The vast majority accounted for the foreign currency deposits (74.76 percent or 5.472 billion manat.

The volume of deposits in foreign currency increased twofold (as of September 1, 2014, this figure was 2.546 billion manat) compared to August 2014, by 0.1 percent (5.466 billion manat) compared to July 2014 and by 1.9 times (2.845 billion manat) compared to early 2015.

The population's bank deposits decreased by 3.75 percent compared to the previous month. They increased by 2.8 percent as of early 2015 and by 4.68 percent compared to the same period of 2014.

The growing share of deposits in foreign currency, observed since February, was caused by the devaluation of the national currency. Thus, the official exchange rate was set at 1.05 manat upon the decision of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan on February 21, 2015.

As of August 1, 2015, the volume of the physical entities' deposits in Azerbaijani banks amounted to 5.303 billion manat compared to 4.023 billion manat as of August 2014. The volume of the non-financial organizations' deposits hit 5.037 billion manat compared to 3.624 billion manat in August 2014.

The total volume of the legal entities' deposits in the country's banks amounted to 10.338 billion manat or by 35.2 percent more than in August 2014 - 7.647 billion manat.

The population's deposits, attracted to Azerbaijan's banking system from the country's districts (except for Baku), totaled 552.8 million manat in January-August 2015, or 7.5 percent of the total bank deposits.

The volume of deposits in Baku was 6.767 billion manat, while some 1.577 billion manat accounted for the deposits in the national currency.

As of August 2015, the average interest rate throughout the country and Baku hit 8 percent.

Thus, the Absheron economic region is still the leader on such indices as attracting the population's deposits by the banks (168.21 million manat, average rate - 8.5 percent per annum).

During this period, the volume of deposits in the Aran economic region - 87.27 million manat at a rate of 6.4 percent, Mountainous Shirvan - 11.51 million manat at a rate of 6.8 percent, Ganja-Gazakh - 135.07 million manat at a rate 7.9 percent, Guba-Khachmaz - 37.24 million manat at a rate of 6.6 percent, Lankaran - 38.22 million manat - the rate of 7.75 percent, Sheki-Zagatala - 34.01 million manat - the rate of 6.3 percent, Upper Karabakh - 16.89 million manat - 5.2 percent, Kalbajar-Lachin - 2.12 million manat - 5.6 percent, Nakhchivan - 22.22 million manat - the average rate of 4.7 percent.

The Azerbaijani banks decreased interest rates on deposits both in national and foreign currency in August 2015, the report said.

The average rate on deposits in manat as of Sept. 1, 2015 made up 7.98 percent compared to 8.41 percent in July, 8.86 percent in early 2015.

The average rate on deposits in foreign currency amounted to 8.33 percent versus 8.36 percent in July, 9.24 percent in early 2015.

As of Sept. 1, 2015, the average interest rate on deposits of physical entities in manat made up 9.49 percent, while it was 9.67 percent in July, 9.45 percent in early 2015.

The average rate on deposits of individual customers in foreign currency amounted to 9.33 percent compared to 9.39 percent in July, 9.78 percent in early 2015.

The average rate on deposits of legal entities in manat made up 4.34 percent in early September 2015 versus 5 percent in July, 5.51 percent in early 2015.

The average rate on deposits of corporate clients in foreign currency amounted to 3.99 percent compared to 4.01 percent in July, 6 percent in early 2015.

There are 43 banks in Azerbaijan, two of which are state banks and 157 non-bank-credit organizations, including 103 credit unions.

Payment card market

As of September 1, 2015, around 2,702 ATMs operated in the country of which 1,518 are located in Baku and 1,194 in other cities and regions of the country. Their total number increased by 192 units or 7.65 percent during a year compared to August 2014.

The number of POS-terminals amounted to 77,913 units of which 49,053 are installed in Baku and 28,860 units in other cities and regions as of late August 1, 2015.

The number of POS-terminals increased by 21,182 units or 37.34 percent during the year.

Stock market

The total turnover of exchange transactions on all instruments on Baku Stock Exchange decreased by 10.5 percent and hit 7.341 billion manat in January-August 2015 compared to the same period of 2014.

The volume of state securities market totaled 19.16 million manat (decreased by 25.9 times), while the turnover of corporate securities market equaled 1.78 billion manat (decreased by 3.7 times) during the reporting period.

The volume of derivatives market stood at 5.54 billion manat (increased by 4.7 times).

Trade with derivatives accounted for major part (75.5 percent) of the stock market turnover.

The Baku Stock Exchange started to trade derivatives on a commodity basis on July 21, 2014.

The margin trading allows investors to buy and sell securities and financial instruments purchased from a broker under special conditions due to a temporary trading limit.

Comparative table on the results of trades on the state and corporate sectors at BSE:

Market segments

Jan.-Aug. 2015

Jan.-Aug. 2014

Volume of transactions, AZN

Number of transactions

Volume of transactions, AZN

Number of transactions

I. State securities market

19,156,674.15

12

496,088,499.45

94

State bonds of finance ministry

19,156,674.15

12

74,193,436.89

34

initial placement

0

0

56,447,792.76

21

secondary market

19,156,674.15

12

17,745,644.13

13

Notes (Central Bank)

0

0

421,895,062.56

60

initial placement

0

0

119,081,523.61

38

secondary market

0

0

302,813,538.95

22

II. Market of shares

148,003,802.15

2578

761,642,926.13

3315

initial placement

139,080,672.35

107

758,607,963.50

568

secondary market

8,923,129.80

2471

3,034,962.63

2747

III. Debt market

1,520,309,886.46

506

2,222,694,029.21

233

Mortgage bonds

(initial placement)

31,259,836.00

8

40,240,000.00

20

Mortgage bonds (secondary market)

1,289,774,392.37

157

334,932,787.01

70

Corporate bonds

(initial placement)

16,263,208.95

50

1,762,319,602.64

49

Corporate bonds

(secondary market)

183,012,449.14

291

85,201,639.56

94

- including market makers

176,663,539.50

208

80,442,857.46

71.00

IV. Repo transactions

113,518,147.46

99

3,535,442,985.82

292

Repo transactions with the Central Bank

32,217,600.76

30

1,803,653,833.93

137

Other repo transactions

81,300,546.70

69

1,731,789,151.89

155

V. Derivatives market

5,540,307,001.52

38182

1,186,507,948.11

11,240.00

- With currency

5,461,341,285.82

33923

449,740,563.91

10,504.00

- With goods

78,965,715.70

4259

736,767,384.20

736.00

Total

7,341,295,511.74

41,377.00

8,202,376,388.72

15,174.00

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Activities of western ports of Iran's Hormozgan Province announced
Indian Business Tycoon Yusuffali MA Gets Top Civilian Award In UAE
Turkmenistan reveals statistics of its construction sector
India Contributes $500,000 To UN Trust Fund For Counter-Terrorism
Chabahar Port Likely To Be Ready By May As India Accelerates Work: Report
India crucial partner in fight against climate change: US Congressman
Number of countries buy products from Turkmen commodity and raw materials exchange
Google expanding in India to help users become digital cos: Google Cloud MD
President Ilham Aliyev attends opening of Military Trophy Park in Baku (PHOTO)
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