ArmInfo. Since the beginning of the year, banks have made no foreign currency transactions at NASDAQ OMX Armenia, as they prefer interbank operations or what they call more efficient off-exchange trading. The statement came from Konstantin Saroyan, CEO at NASDAQ OMX Armenia, when commenting to ArmInfo on the waning interest of banks in the stock exchange. In this light, he said, NASDAQ OMX Armenia will soon launch a new technological platform for transactions and a new mechanism of mutual settlements, which will indisputably interest the financial institutions and bring the back to the stock exchange.
"We are actively working now to not only restructure the market, but also provide the financial institutions with an opportunity to make transactions through the stock exchange. It may be Ћ’‘ (over-the-counter (OTC) or off-exchange trading), exchange trading, or any other trading terms. It is no so important. An important point is that the market gets a new mechanism of transactions, a new technological platform and a new mechanism of mutual settlements. At
present, the trading terms at theexchange is preliminary depositing. We plan to launch a new T+N (tomorrow/next) terms of transactions or trading without preliminary depositing," Saroyan explained.
Besides, he said, the financial institutions will get an opportunity to make transactions without mutual settlements. "In such case, financial institutions will be free to chose the system most appropriate for them to make mutual settlements, for instance, the Central Bank's systems. In case of preliminary or partial depositing (or no depositing), it is essential to reduce the risks for the parties to the transactions," he explained. Presently, he said, NASDAQ OMX Armenia is working on these mechanisms, technological and administrative novelties.
Since the beginning of the year, NASDAQ OMX Armenia, which was not active throughout February and did not show any signs of activity in the first week of March, saw transactions worth a total of $100 thsd on March 11. Meantime, banks are quite active and make daily transactions on the foreign exchange inter-bank market. After devaluating against USD from 482 to an average of 489 AMD in January the Armenian dram continued to weaken in the following month up to 496AMD on February 12. Afterwards a slow revaluation followed due to
the CB's intervention. By March 24, the national currency appreciated against USD to 479AMD /1USD, depreciating against EUR to 536 AMD/1EUR (from 529) and depreciating against RUR to 7.1 AMD/1RUR (from 6.9). Foreign currency deals fail to explain the appreciation of the dram against dollar without CB's interventions, but they think the lower limit has been registered already.