Armenia

EDB investment portfolio

01/11/2018

11 projects

$184.6 million

2.7% of the total

EFSD investment portfolio

06/30/2017

4 projects

$512.2 million

9.3% of the total


Armenia became a full member of Eurasian Development Bank in April 2009. Its contribution to the Bank’s capital is US $100,000.

Trends

GDP

Economic activity in Armenia in 2Q 2018 remained at a high level. The annual increase in the economic activity indicator calculated by the Statistical Committee was 7.4% on average for 2Q (10.6% a quarter earlier). Given the indicator’s high correlation with the GDP growth rate, economic growth in 2Q may be approximately 7%, while for 1H it may exceed 8% compared with the same period of last year, retaining its leadership in terms of GDP growth among EDB participant countries.

After an annual increase of 3.7% in January-March 2018, retail trade turnover in 2Q decreased by 2.2% compared with the same period of last year. One factor in the decline in consumer activity may have been a slowdown in the growth of remittances, while lending and real wages growth continued to support consumption.

The slowdown in consumer demand was reflected in a decrease in the growth of imports in value terms, from 40.6% YoY on average for 1Q to 29.2% in 2Q. The export growth rate for the same period declined from 30% to 12.6%, reflecting a slowdown in industry, while the persisting high price competitiveness of Armenian goods continued to support exports.

Industrial production in 2Q 2018 decreased by 0.3% compared with the same quarter of last year after an increase of 8.2% a quarter earlier, which can be explained by a reduction in consumer activity and the high base effect of last year. Manufacturing was a major contributor to the slowdown – annual growth for which in 1H 2018 declined to 8.6% compared with a growth level of 18.8% in 1Q. The drop in output compared with the previous year continues in the mining industry too, against a background of declining copper prices on world markets and the suspension of the development of the Teghut deposit.

Construction, agriculture and services provided support for economic growth. Output in these sectors in January–June 2018 increased by 13.5%, 5.5% and 18.1%, respectively, compared with the corresponding period of 2017.

International rating agency Fitch confirmed the long-term credit rating of Armenia’s domestic and foreign currency bonds at the level of “B+” with a positive outlook, noting the persistence of macroeconomic and financial stability and fiscal consolidation measures.

Inflation

Inflation’s deviation from the target rate increased in 2Q. Annual inflation in June was 0.9%, slowing from 3.7% in 1Q 2018. This is largely due to this year’s good harvest and, as a result, a fall in prices for fruit and vegetables (prices for fruit and vegetables in June 2018 decreased by 16.1% and 22.6%, respectively, compared with June 2017).

Exchange Rate

In 2Q 2018, the Armenian dram strengthened compared with the majority of the currencies of Armenia’s trading partner countries. It strengthened most of all against the Russian ruble (by 8% and 7.9% against the previous quarter and 2Q 2017, respectively), which was due to the weakening of the Russian currency on the world market after the announcement in April 2018 of new US sanctions. As a result, the annual depreciation of the nominal effective exchange rate of the dram in 2Q decreased to 2.2%, from 4.9% a quarter earlier.

The trade deficit continued to expand in 2Q of this year and reached USD 1.1457 billion in the first half of the year (compared with a deficit of USD 755 million a year earlier). The increase in the trade deficit is due to faster growth of imports versus exports given continued strong economic activity.

The high base of last year in the volume of remittance inflows, driven by the Russian economy’s recovering growth rate, had a restraining effect on inflows trends in 2Q of this year. According to the Central Bank of Armenia, the growth rate of remittances to the country slowed in 2Q to 4.2% YoY after an increase of 14.5% a quarter earlier. At the same time, the volume of incoming transfers for January-June 2018 (USD 787.6 billion) was the highest level for a first half year since 2014.

Fiscal Policy

The state budget of Armenia saw a deficit of AMD 3.9 billion in January-June 2018, which is nearly 10-fold down compared with the same period of last year (AMD 38.3 billion). The deficit reduction was due to the country’s budgetary consolidation policy, which led to a reduction in budget expenditures for the period by 1.6% compared with the corresponding period of last year. The largest decreases were in transfers to the economy (by 18.4%), expenses on services and goods (by 5.9%) and operations with non-financial assets (by 9.5%). Furthermore, budget revenues exceeded the level of the same period last year by 4.3%.

Earlier years’ growth in public debt predetermined the further expansion of its servicing costs, which, in 1H 2018, amounted to AMD 68.3 billion, which is 16.4% higher than the level for January-June 2017.

Armenia’s state debt in 2Q 2018 decreased by USD 182.9 million and amounted to USD 6.7 billion at the end of June. The debt decrease in the fiscal quarter was due to repayments of both domestic debt (USD 57.4 million), as well as external debt of the government and the Central Bank (USD 125.5 million).

Monetary Policy

Given inflation’s increasing deviations from the target level in 2Q, the Central Bank kept the refinancing rate at the level of 6%, which, according to the regulator, will contribute to inflation approaching its target level.

Despite the fact that the refinancing rate has remained unchanged for an extended period of time, interest rates on bank loans in 2Q 2018 continued to decline, which was reflected in the further expansion of lending to residents in AMD, the annual growth rate of which in 2Q 2018 was 35.1% after 32.7% a quarter earlier.

Dollarization of residents’ bank deposits continued its decreasing trend. In June 2018, the dram’s share of residents’ deposits rose to 46.4%, 4.5 p.p. more than in June 2017. The continued positive trend was aided by higher yields on deposits in AMD compared with USD deposits (the spread between interest rates in 2Q of the current year amounted to 5.9 p.p. and 5.3 p.p. in short-term and long-term deposits, respectively).


24 August 2018
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) has become a participant in Nasdaq OMX Armenia’s foreign exchange and government bond markets. Thereby, the EBD gets direct access to transactions in Armenia’s national currency and government securities. Should there arise demand on the part of market participants, the Bank is ready to offer market making services on Nasdaq OMX Armenia in respect of transactions in the national currencies of its member states. The EDB is at present a market maker for the RUB/KZT pair at the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange and Moscow Exchange
06 August 2018
The net profits of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) amounted to US $37.542 million in the first half of 2018, while the target fixed in the bank's strategy until 2022 for the whole year is at US $32 million
03 August 2018
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), the Resources Manager of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD, the Fund), and the Republic of Armenia have signed a Grant Agreement of US $1 million to be provided from the EFSD resources to support the Project “Improving Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in Primary Health Care”. Andrey Beliyaninov, Chairman of the EDB Management Board, and Vardan Aramyan, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Armenia, signed the relevant document in April 2018
25 July 2018
The EDB announces the completion of the technical issue of 001P-01 bond of the nominal value of RUB 10 billion at the Moscow Stock Exchange under the programme (identification number 4-00002-L-001P-02E of 14 June 2018). The coupon rate is 7.60% per annum, the yield is 7.74%. The bond maturity is 1.5 years
19 July 2018
The Council of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD), based on the outcomes of voting by correspondence, has approved the EFSD Annual Report 2017. The EFSD Annual report includes information on the activities undertaken by the Eurasian Development Bank in its capacity of the EFSD Resources Manager and related to manging and administering the EFSD resources in 2017
17 July 2018
Andrey Beliyaninov, Chairman of the Management Board of the Eurasian Development Bank, will talk at the Financing the Real Sector of the Economy Business Forum to take place on 19 July in Moscow
16 July 2018
Applications are invited for enrolment to the International Eurasian Integration School 2018 titled The Eurasian Economic Union: Contouring the Future. The school has been launched by the Russian International Affairs Council, the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, the Eurasian Economic Commission, and the Eurasian Development Bank
25 June 2018
The Council of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) approved the Bank’s new mid-term strategy for 2018-2022. The meeting was chaired by Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Chair of the EDB Council
04 June 2018
The Eurasian Development Bank’s (EDB) delegation headed by Andrey Beliyaninov, Chairman of the Management Board, took part in the Third Annual Meeting of the New Development Bank (NDB) in Shanghai on 28-29 May
29 May 2018
In Q1 2018, multilateral development banks (MDB) approved finance for CIS investment projects for a total of US $2 billion, with sovereign finance accounting for 54% and the private sector 46%

Yerevan Representative Office

Address:
Erebuni Plaza Business Centre, office 811, 26/1 Sargsyan St., Yerevan, 0010, Republic of Armenia