Saturday, May 7 2016 12:53
Svetlana Hovsepyan

Continuing activity on inter-bank forex market helps retaining exchange rate of national dram at 479 AMD/1USD

ArmInfo. The continuing activity on the inter-bank forex market within the current week - $10,450 million - helped retaining the exchange rate of the national dram at 479 AMD/1USD.  Meanwhile, NASDAQ OMX Armenia has been idle throughout the week. It is noteworthy that the Central Bank of Armenia has not interfered and has not made any interventions since the beginning of this year. As a result, in Q1 2016, AMD devaluated against USD to 496 AMD/$1 (February 12) and then stood at initial 482AMD/$1 on March 25. By April 2, AMD appreciated against USD to 480.5 AMD/$1, and then started depreciating again to 484.5 AMD/$1 by April 8. By April 15 AMD revaluated to 481 AMD/$1 with following strengthening to 479 AMD/$1 by April 29. This level has been retained by May 6.  However, 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 was not active throughout the week. At the same time the inter-bank forex market continues actively operating - on May 2-6 a total of $10.450 million transactions were made (23.7% weekly growth) at the average 
exchange rate of 479.04 AMD/1USD.  Maximum amount of transactions was registered on Friday, May 6, - $6.8mln. 
 
The source says that on May 2-6, on the intra-bank currency market (transactions with customers) the banks bought $58.8 mln (14% drop versus the previous week) at the average exchange rate of 477.67 AMD/$1, and sold $69.8 mln (10.8% growth versus the previous week) at the average exchange rate of 479.41 AMD/$1. In the meantime, the banks bought 7.7 mln EUR (down 2.5%) at the average exchange rate of 545.59 AMD/1EUR, and sold 9.1 mln EUR (down 28.3%) at the exchange rate of 551.13 AMD/1EUR. The banks also bought 727.7 mln RUR (weekly decline by 9.6%) at the average exchange rate of 7.25 AMD/1RUR and sold 305.3 mln RUR (weekly decline by 31.8%) at the exchange rate of 7.38 AMD/1RUR. 
 
During the previous week (April 25-30), the Armenian banks provided AMD loans worth 37.9 bln and USD loans worth 49.7 mln. As compared with the previous week (April 18- 23), AMD loans fell by 10,2%, and the ones in terms of USD grew 49.7%
 
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. Later, on April 2 AMD appreciated against USD to 480.5 AMD/$1, at the same time depreciating against EUR to 547 AMD/1 EUR, and against RUR to 7.2 AMD/1RUR. Afterwards, the AMD depreciated 
against USD to 484.5 AMD/$1 by April 8, at the same time depreciating against EUR to 551 AMD/1EUR and against RUR to 7.3 AMD/1RUR. The following four weeks (April 11- May 6) were a period of revaluation of the Armenian dram. It appreciated against USD to 479 AMD/$1, against EUR to 547 AMD/1EUR amid depreciation against Ruble to 7,4 AMD/1 Ruble.
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