ArmInfo. On August 22-26, the intrabank market of Armenia experienced active sales of currency, with the Armenian dram (AMD) depreciating against USD from 474.5 to 475 AMD/$1. At the same time, AMD appreciated against EUR from 538 to 536 AMD/1EUR, and against Russian ruble (RUR) from 7.5 to 7.3 AMD/1EUR. In the meantime, the interbank forex market saw 2.1-fold growth in transactions (after a 3-fold decline a week before).
Since the beginning of the year the foreign exchange market showed signs of life rarely making one at a time transaction between March and May: $100 thousand in March, $2.950 mln in April and $800 thousand in May, after which it was passive. In H1, Central Bank bought USD in foreign exchange market in June ($50.2 mln) and April ($ 2.4 mln) and sold in January and February ($53.1 mln and $41.5mln, respectively). As a result, in the first half of 2016, AMD appreciated from 482 to 477 AMD/$1, depreciating in mid Feb (from 482 to 496 AMD/$1 on Feb 12), in early April (from 479 to 484.5 AMD/$1), in mid May (from 479 to 480.5 AMD/$1 on May 12), in early and in late June (from 478 to 479 AMD/$1 on June 3, and from 476 to 477 AMD/$1 on June 30), maintaining the 477 AMD/$1 level in the first half of July and totaling 476AMD/1USD on July 24. However, within the last week of the month, the national currency devaluated to 477 AMD/1USD. Since early August AMD started to revaluate and stood at 474.5AMD/$1 as of August 19. By August 26, AMD slightly devaluated to 475 AMD/1USD.
The press office of the Central Bank of Armenia has told ArmInfo that the daily transactions on the interbank forex market grew on August 22-26. The highest amount was registered on Monday - $2.3mln, and the smallest amount was fixed on Friday - $500,000. On August 22-26, the total amount of transactions in the intrabank forex market was $8.3mln (versus $4 mln a week before), forming an average AMD/USD exchange rate at 474.95 AMD/1USD (versus the previous 475.65 AMD/1USD). The source says that on August 22-26, the USD purchase transactions on the intrabank market decreased by 22% (versus 54.1% growth a week before). The EUR purchase dropped by 5% (versus 25.6% decline a week before). Sales of USD and EUR grew by 14% and 40%, respectively (versus 9.2% and 3% decline a week before, respectively). RUR purchase fell by 7.7% (versus 7% growth a week before) amid 31% rise in sales (vs 6.8% decline a week before). Eventually, $72.9 mln was bought at the average exchange rate of 473.56 AMD/1USD, 5.7 mln EUR was bought at 533.11 AMD/1EUR, and 1.2 bln RUR - at 7.31 AMD/1RUR. At the same time, $78.9 mln was sold at 475.30 AMD/$1, 13.9 mln EUR - at 537.15 AMD/1EUR, and 493.9 mln RUR - at 7.41 AMD/1RUR.
During the previous week (August 15-20), the Armenian banks provided AMD loans worth 43 bln and USD loans worth $32 mln. As compared with the previous week (August 8-13), USD loans declined by 20%, amid 34% growth of the ones in terms of AMD. During the previous week the dynamics was as follows: USD loans dropped by 41.7% while the ones in terms of AMD declined by 11%.
To recall, in 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 to 496AMD/$1, however since March it strengthened and stood at 482 AMD/1USD by March 25. Later, AMD started revaluating again since mid-April. By April 29, AMD appreciated against USD to 479 AMD/$1 and this trend continued in May. By May 31, AMD appreciated against USD to 478 AMD/$1, and against EUR to 532 AMD/1EUR, at the same time depreciating against RUR to 7.3 AMD/1RUR. The first half of June AMD demonstrated moderate depreciation, followed by appreciation: thus by June 30 the AMD stood at 477 AMD/$1, 529 AMD/1EUR, and 7.4 AMD/1 RUR. In July AMD was still at 477 against USD, depreciating against EUR to 532 AMD/1EUR and appreciating against Russian ruble to 7.1 AMD/1RUR. On 1-26 August, AMD appreciated against USD to 475 AMD/1USD, and depreciated against EUR to 536 AMD/1EUR and against RUR to 7.3 AMD/1RUR.