Last week review (Feb. 15-19)

Feb. 15

Central Bank of Azerbaijan increases interest rate to 5%

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan has increased the interest rate from three to five percent since Feb. 15, 2016. The lower limit of the interest rate corridor for liquidity operations has been set at two percent, and the upper limit - at ten percent.

The decision was made in order to create conditions for improvement of monetary policy instruments in line with the situation on the currency market, as well as to strengthen the credibility of the Azerbaijani manat and increase the volume of deposits in manats, according to the bank.

Feb. 16

Kazakhstan to learn from Baku Int'l Sea Trade Port's experience

Official delegation led by Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev paid a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan with an aim to get acquainted with the Baku International Sea Trade Port's experience in its operations. As part of the visit, the delegation toured the new port of Baku which is being constructed at the Alat settlement and Main Cargo Terminal in downtown Baku, according to the message. The parties exchanged views on ways to accelerate cargo shipment between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

President Ilham Aliyev inaugurates Tovuzchay water reservoir.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the opening of Tovuzchay water reservoir in Tovuz. Chairman of Azerbaijan Melioration and Water Management Company Ahmad Ahmadzade informed the head of state of the work done.

Feb. 17

Integrated trade and surveillance system launched at Azerbaijani stock exchange

A ceremony of launching the integrated trade, post-trade and surveillance system on the Azerbaijani securities market was held on the Azerbaijani State Securities Committee. Rufat Aslanov, chairman of the Azerbaijani State Securities Committee, Angela Prigozhina, World Bank (WB) private and financial development sector leading expert in the South Caucasus and Young Sang Kwon, representative of the Korea Stock Exchange participated in the event.

The system has been worked out as part of improving Azerbaijan's capital markets and will enable to strengthen the control over the ongoing transactions, unify the process of receiving reports about the conducted transactions from the professional market participants and prevent possible manipulation and dissemination of insider information on the market.

Azerbaijani president visits Ganja Automobile Plant

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev visited Ganja Automobile Plant. As of January 1, 2016, Ganja plant manufactured 6,294 tractors and 134 special tractors. Some 5,737 tractors of them were sold to Agroleasing Association and 497 to farmers and businessmen. The plant also produced 2,578 MAZ trucks.

Feb. 19

New Lifan cars to be assembled in Azerbaijan

The Nakhchivan Automobile Plant (NAZ) has reached an agreement with the Chinese car manufacturer Lifan on a full renewal of the model range of the cars assembled in Azerbaijan. A NAZ delegation, led by the plant's director Musa Abdullayev, has held talks with the Chinese carmaker on starting a new stage of cooperation.

The NAZ officials said that the assembly of the fully updated Lifan 820, the new all-wheel drive SUV Lifan Х80, and the compact crossover X50 is the priority in the plant's plans.

Azerbaijan developing new model of Islamic banking

Azerbaijan is developing a new model of Islamic banking, chief executive officer of B.EST Solutions Islamic finance consultancy, Islamic Financing consultant and member of the CIS Islamic Banking Advisory Council, Behnam Gurbanzade said at the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Global Business Forum in Dubai.

He said plans are afoot to introduce Islamic banking regulations in the country. He went on to add that while the workflow was "not too fast" in the past, in the current economic environment, there is a greater focus to bring real banking solutions with a focus on customers.

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