Weekly actual topics in Azerbaijan (may 2- 6)

Azerbaijan minister talks profitable agrarian segments

Currently, several segments of Azerbaijan’s agrarian sector are quite profitable for making investments, according to the country’s Agriculture Minister Heydar Asadov.

Creation of wholesale and retail outlets, organization of logistics and packaging of fruits and vegetables, creation of a network of small and medium grain warehouses are among these segments, said the minister in his interview with the ‘Our Business World’ magazine.

Asadov noted that there is a serious potential for investments in the creation of export-oriented and import-substituting products.

He went on to say that investors can also be interested in the creation of big livestock complexes and enterprises for processing of meet and feed.

"The development of cotton, tobacco, silk, leather and wool clusters is also very promising both in terms of export, and in terms of meeting the demand in the domestic market," added Asadov.

BSE: Foreign stock trade may be introduced in Azerbaijan

The Baku Stock Exchange (BSE) explores the possibility of introducing foreign stock trade, Vugar Namazov, acting chairman of the BSE Management Board, said in an interview with Trend.

“There are people who buy securities of foreign issuers in the global capital markets. Of course, it would be cheaper for them to buy the securities here and not to pay an extra fee,” he said.

Certain legal and organizational work needs to be carried out with other countries in order to introduce this mechanism, Namazov said, adding the necessary demand should also be created.

He noted that negotiations are currently underway to create the necessary partnerships with certain countries.

“We have already joined the initiative of establishing such relations with our partners from the UK and Turkey. But this process is still under development,” Namazov said. “In general, I think this mechanism is promising and there is a demand, albeit small, too. Continuation of the work in this area depends on the future demand and supply.”

Foreign investors interested in Azerbaijan’s microfinance market

Foreign investors are ready to issue manat loans to the microfinance organizations operating in Azerbaijan, Suleyman Kalyashev, chairman of the Board of the Azerbaijan Micro-Finance Association (AMFA), said.

He added that two new investors intend to enter the country's microfinance market.

"The investors are interested in Azerbaijan’s microfinance market and are ready to issue loans in national currency by converting their dollar funds," he added. "In this regards, the representatives of these financial institutions want to meet with active market participants to discuss possible cooperation."

Kalyashev added that the Azerbaijani microfinance market is being restored although non-bank credit organizations still have shortage of manats.

"The new investors can improve the situation," he added.

"In general, investors and foreign partners who are currently cooperating with Azerbaijani microfinance organizations have no problems in the country because market participants always fulfill their obligations," he said. "An important factor is that there are no problematic non-bank credit organizations in the market. Therefore, investors show interest in cooperation with Azerbaijani microfinance organizations."

More than 140 non-banking credit organizations operate in Azerbaijan.

According to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, the credit portfolio of the non-bank credit organizations amounted to 454.4 million manats in January-February 2017, which is by 23.7 percent less than in the same period of 2016.

Despite the overall decline in credit investments in the country's economy, the share of loans issued through the non-bank credit organizations remained unchanged at 2.9 percent of the total loan portfolio.

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