ArmInfo. In Q1 2016 AMD devaluated against USD to 496 AMD/$1 (February 12) and then stood at initial 482AMD/$1 on March 25. To note, Central Bank of Armenia has not interfered and has not made any interventions since the beginning of this year. As a result AMD after devaluating against USD from an average 482 to 489 AMD/$1 in January, continued to weaken the next month as well and reached 496 AMD/$1 by February 12, after which slow revaluation followed and by March 25 initial 482 AMD/$1 was registered. Independent experts say the AMD/USD exchange rate may rise to 540-550 AMD/$1 by late 2016, amid the financial and economic crisis in Russia and the sliding prices of oil and crude metals, which is one of the key export items of Armenia.
The CBA press office has told ArmInfo that NASDAQ OMX Armenia, has not been active since the beginning of the year, not considering the only and insignificant amount of 100 thousand USD (on March 11). At the same time the interbank forex market continues actively operating ensuring on March 21-25 the total amount of $550 thousand transactions by the average exchange rate at 481.91 AMD/1USD.
The source says that on March 21- March 25, on the intrabank currency market (transactions with customers) the banks bought $57.9 mln (7.4% growth versus the previous week) at the average exchange rate of 480.34 AMD/$1, and sold $67.5 mln (22.7% growth versus the previous week) at the average exchange rate of 481.97 AMD/$1. In the meantime, the banks bought 7.2 mln EUR (weekly growth by 34%) at the average exchange rate of 538.14 AMD/1EUR, and sold 12.3 mln EUR (weekly growth by 32.3%) at the exchange rate of 540.67 AMD/1EUR. The banks also bought 920.97 mln RUR (32.6% weekly growth) at the average exchange rate of 7.01 AMD/1RUR and sold 396.6mln RUR (8.5% weekly growth) at the exchange rate of 7.12 AMD/1RUR.
During the previous week (March 14-19), the Armenian banks provided AMD loans worth 39.6 bln AMD and USD loans worth 53.6 mln USD. As compared with the previous week (March 7-11), AMD loans increased by 15.8%, and the ones in terms of USD grew by 56.7%.
To recall, during the 12 months of 2015, on the retail foreign exchange market of Armenia AMD weakened against USD from 477 to 482 AMD/$1 on average and strengthened against EUR from 571.5 to 529 AMD/1EUR and against Russian ruble from 8.2 to 6.9 AMD/1 RUR.
Between December 14 and 28, the Central Bank made almost daily interventions. AMD depreciated amid decline of foreign trade turnover (by 20.6%), while import dropped more significantly (by 26.5%) than export (by 3.9%) as well as the decline in transfer inflow to Armenia more than by 30%, and this happened in conditions of low buying capacity of the population and low economic activity in the country. Since early 2016, AMD started depreciating again on the retail foreign exchange market of Armenia however since March it
strengthened and stood at 482 AMD/1USD by March 25. At the same time AMD depreciated against EUR to 538 AMD/1EUR and against RUR to 7.1AMD/1RUR. 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 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. According to him launch of a new T+N (tomorrow/next) terms of transactions or trading without preliminary depositing is also planned.