Thursday, April 1 2021 15:27
Karine Melikyan

Armenia`s gross international reserves exceeded $3 billion for the  first time with a 33% jump in February

Armenia`s gross international reserves exceeded $3 billion for the  first time with a 33% jump in February

ArmInfo.Armenia's gross international reserves (WMR) for February 2021 jumped by $784.2 million or 33% (after an 8.2% decline in January and against a 0.5%  decline in February 2020), for the first time exceeded the  three-billion mark, amounting to $3.185 billion. This is evidenced by  the data of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia.

It is noteworthy that an almost similar jump in the monthly section  was recorded several years ago - in the peak crisis of 2009 in June,  when the BMI jumped by $704.5 million or 56%, just short of $2  billion. And it was in this month (June 2009) that the International  Monetary Fund (IMF) approved and provided Armenia with a Stand-By  loan under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), which at that time  increased the amount of financial assistance to $822.7 million.

According to the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia, the lion's  share in the structure of the VMR is $3.179 billion. It accounts for  external assets in SLE, and the share of SDR in the IMF was $4.4  million. According to the report of the regulator, in February 2021,  external assets in SLE turned the dynamics towards 33% growth from  the January 8.2% decline, and the share of SDR slightly accelerated  the decline - from 30% to 30.2%, against a decline of 0.4% and 20.5%,  respectively, in February 2020.

In January-February 2021, gross international reserves increased by  22%, against the background of a similar increase in external assets  in SLE, while the share of SDR in the IMF declined by 51.1%. A year  earlier, in January-February 2020, there was a decline in gross  international reserves by 6.7%, with an almost similar 6.6% decline  in external assets in SLE and a 34% decline in the share of SDR in  the IMF.  On an annual basis (February 2021 to February 2020), gross  international reserves increased by 20%, against the background of a  similar increase in external assets in SLE and an 8% increase in the  share of SDR in the IMF. A year earlier, in February 2020, by February 2019, gross international reserves grew by 28.2%, with a similar increase in external assets in SLE and an increase in the share of SDR in the IMF by 16.6%.

Recall that at the end of 2020, Armenia's gross international  reserves amounted to $2.616 billion, external assets in SLE - $2.607  billion, and the share of SDR in the IMF - $9 million. For 2020, BMI  decreased by 8.2% (against an increase of 26.1% in 2019), external  assets in SLE - by 8.3%, and the share of SDR-by 46%, against an  increase of 26.2% and 3.2%, respectively, in 2019. During 2020, the  downward dynamics of the BMP was observed in January-April, then in  May an uptrend was highlighted, after which the decline resumed,  continuing until December. The share of SDR in the IMF also declined  in the first four months, jumping sharply in May, after which the  decline resumed, with a moderate monthly decline in June-November,  and a sharp one in December. External assets in SLE showed an upward  trend in May, August and December. The share of bank gold in  Armenia's gross international reserves was reset to zero in December  2003.

It should be noted that in 2019-2020, the IMF revised the amount of  reserve financing for Armenia three times under the Reserve Financing  Agreement (SBA) - in May 2019, in May and November 2020. Thus, on May  17, 2019, the IMF approved the provision of a stand-by credit line to  Armenia for a three-year "transit period" in the amount of SDR 180  million (about $248.2 million). Of this amount, it was planned to  immediately receive SDR 25.714 million (about $35.5 million), and the  provision of the rest was provided on the basis of six semi-annual  estimates. A year later, in mid-May 2020, the IMF increased its  financial support to Armenia by 128.8 million. SDR (about $175  million), which, together with the intention of the authorities to  attract the resources accumulated under the SBA, allowed to receive  206 million rubles. SDR (about $280 million), payable immediately.   These loans are aimed at strengthening the economic foundations and  policies of Armenia, as well as at implementing structural reforms,  in particular, improving the efficiency of management and improving  the business environment.In November 2020, the IMF reached an  agreement on the third revision of Armenia's SBA, under which about  $36.7 million (SDR 25.714 million) was allocated on December 11. This  funding is directed to the budget in order to help the authorities '  efforts to meet urgent medical and socio-economic needs. In total,  within the framework of the three-year SBA program, Armenia received  a total of  231.657 million SDR (about $315 million).

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