Thursday, March 28 2024 13:57
Karina Melikyan

Armenia`s gross international reserves even farther from historical  maximum

Armenia`s gross international reserves even farther from historical  maximum

ArmInfo. Armenia's gross international reserves (GIR) in February 2024 decreased by 4.6% per  annum or by $164 million, amounting to $3.381 billion, while a year ago there was an increase of 17.7% or by $532.1 million - to $3.545 billion. Dynamics for January-February and only for February, like a  year earlier, also downward, as a result of which the GMR moved more noticeably away from the historical maximum $4.220 billion achieved in August 2023. This is evidenced by data from the Central Bank of  the Republic of Armenia.

In particular, the annual decline in GMR in February 2024 was due to  a reduction in external assets in hard currency by 4.4% to $3.366  billion, with a decline in the share of SDR in the IMF by 33.7% to  $15 million, while a year ago there was an increase in the former by  18.1% and a decline in the second by 27.1%. Note that the record  level of external assets in hard currency was recorded in August 2023  - $4.216 billion, and the historical maximum of the SDR share in the  IMF was in August 2021 - $178.2 million.

In January-February 2024, GMRs decreased by 6.1% (against a 13.8%  decline a year earlier), which was accompanied by a slowdown in the  decline in external assets in hard currency from 14.2% to 6.5% with  an accelerating growth in the share of SDRs in the IMF from 3.7 times  to 30 times. In February 2024 alone, the decline in GMR accelerated  from 0.7% to 5.4%, due to the accelerated decline in external assets  in hard currency from 2.3% to 4.3% and the deterioration in the  dynamics of the SDR share in the IMF from an increase of 115 times to  a decline of 74%. A year earlier, in February 2023, GMRs were also in  decline, but then there was a slowdown in the pace from 10.3% to 4%,  similar to the trend of external assets in hard currency - a slowdown  in the decline from 11% to 3.7%, with a reversal in the dynamics of  the SDR share in IMF from a 5-fold increase to a 26.1% decline.

Armenia's gross international reserves (GIR) for 2023 decreased by  12.4% or $510 million, amounting to $3.602 billion, while in 2022 an  increase of 27.3% or $882 million was recorded - up to $4.112 billion  In particular, external assets in hard currency decreased by 12.3% to  $3.601 billion, with a decline in the share of SDR in the IMF by 92%  to $0.5 million, while in 2022 there was an increase in the former by  28.4% and a decline in the latter by 81.3%. It is appropriate to note  that for 2023, both GMR and external assets in hard currency reached  a new record level in August - $4.220 billion and $4.217 billion,  respectively, and the historical maximum for the SDR share in the IMF  was recorded two years earlier - $178.2 million in August 2021. The  share of bank gold in Armenia's geological resources was reset to  zero back in December 2003.

On December 12, 2022, the IMF Council approved a three-year Stand-By  Arrangement (SBA) agreement for Armenia in the amount of SDR 128.8  million (about $171.1 million) in order to maintain macroeconomic  stability, hedge against negative risks and support the structural  reform program. From this moment on, an amount equivalent to 18.4  million SDR (about $24.4 million) immediately became available to  Armenia. On June 12, 2023, the IMF Board completed its review of the  first review under the SBA standby agreement with Armenia, which  resulted in access to SDR 18.4 million (about $24.5 million),  bringing the total access amount to SDR 36.8 million (about $49  million). ). Later, on November 7, 2023, the IMF Board completed its  review of the second review under the SBA standby agreement with  Armenia.  Based on the results of this audit, the IMF Council, at a  meeting on December 11, 2023, decided to open Armenia's access to  18.4 million SDR (about $24.4 million), resulting in the total amount  of access to be 55.2 million SDR (about $73.3 million).  

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