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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    Originally posted by HyeSocialist View Post
    It's possible that cheaper energy prices and less rubles coming into Armenia due remittances dropping could be part of this? An increase in Armenian goods to Russia due to Turkey being out of the picture? Whatever the case, man...Armenia definitely has the capabilities to boost itself to middle income country. Mediating trade between Russia and Iran can alone accomplish that.
    As you can see from the above article regarding gas prices, gas prices haven't been lowered yet. But you are largely correct when it comes to the rest. Because the Ruble much greater depreciation compared to the dram's depreciation, Russian goods are much cheaper when counted in dollars, so importing the same things ends up amounting to less. Also, with the depreciation of the dram, and exports from other countries becoming more expensive when counted in drams, so it very possible that Armenia's are choosing to go for the local alternative. As far as remittance, they have their own category and don't affect import/export numbers, but less remittance might be forcing less superfluous import purchases. Like you said, unless one of us holds a PhD in economics or work in the Armenian economic ministry, we can't be sure what's causing it. But whatever it is, hope it continues.
    Last edited by Mher; 02-29-2016, 11:40 AM.
    <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

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    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      Armenia’s state external debt grows by 14.1 percent in 2015

      YEREVAN, February 29. / ARKA /. Armenia’s state external debt increased by 14.1% in 2015 to $4.317.3 billion, the National Statistical Service (NSS) said.

      According to NSS data, the country’s external debt has grown by 3.9 times over the past 5 years and by 5 times over the last 15 years. The highest growth was reported in 2009, when Armenia's GDP fell by 14.1%. In 2009, the external debt surged by 88.1% when compared to the previous year.

      A decline in external debt over the past 15 years was recorded only twice- in 2005 it fell by 7.1% and in 2014 by 2.9%. The increase in external debt in 2015 was aided by attraction of credits from international financial institutions, auction of government Eurobonds and loans attracted by commercial banks.
      According to NSS, the debt to the World Bank accounted for 38.2% of the total external debt. In 2015 it increased by 2.6% to $1.650.5 billion. Of that amount $1.139.7 billion were owed to the International Development Association (IDA) and $510.8 million to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

      The debt to EBRD in 2015 amounted to $18.8 million, the debt to the European Investment Bank -.to $128 million, the debt to the International Fund for Agricultural Development – to $61.2 million, the debt to OPEC Fund- to $40.4 million, the debt to the Asian Development Bank – to $396 5 million, the debt to IMF- to - $414.3 million, the debt to EU –to $71 million and the debt to the Eurasian Development bank – to $100 million.

      The government also owed $241.5 million to Japanese JICA and $189.9 million to German KfW. The debt to the USA stood at $23.5 million, that to France – at $20 million, the debt to Russia – at $7.7 million, the debt to Abu Dhabi Development Foundation stood at $6.3 million and the debt to China’s Export-Import – at $20.37 million.

      The amount of loans provided by foreign commercial banks were worth in the reporting period approximately $23.1 million. (a 42.4% growth). The external debt generated by purchase of Eurobonds by non-residents grew last year by 36.8% to $902 million and the debt generated by purchase of government bonds by non-residents surged by 64% to approximately $1.54 million.

      In 2015 Armenia’s overall public debt amounted to $5.071 billion, growing by 14% or $629.5 million from the previous year. The domestic debt in the end of December stood at $761.4 million, having increased by 16% from the year before and by 1.3% from 2015 November. According to 2016 budget, the country’s public debt is expected to grow to $5.569 billion and make 49.4% of GDP, up from 48.3% in 2015.

      http://arka.am/en/news/business/arme...rcent_in_2015/

      So the debt has grown from 4.405 billion dollars, or about 38.1% of GDP (11.64 Billion USD), to 5.071 billion dollars, or 42.3% of GDP (12.04 Billion USD). Most of that was from the 500 or 600 million euro loan Armenia took at the beginning of the year to shore up foreign exchange reserves. Almost none of that has actually been spent. The reserves have simply grown from $1.2 Billion to $1.7 Billion. So repayment is not an issue, unless the dram needs further shoring up.
      Last edited by Mher; 02-29-2016, 11:20 AM.
      <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

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      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        Armenia's Monthly Economic Developments
        February 29, 2016

        Highlights

        GDP growth slowed to 3.0 percent in 2015 in light of the weakening external conditions. The resulting fiscal deficit, of 4 percent of GDP, was financed mainly by external borrowing.Changes in the 2016 expenditure composition refer to the increased allocation for economic sectors in a form of subsides.The Central Bank lowered the policy rate from 10.25 percent at the beginning of the year.Overall the banking sector remained sound in 2015, but total lending declined by 3.1 percent.
        The current account position improved due to the sharp contraction in imports. GDP growth slowed to 3.0 percent in 2015 in light of the weakening external conditions, in particular Russia’s recession. Despite the reduced exports to and remittances from Russia, growth was stronger than expected due to one-off factors including a good agriculture harvest and the opening of a new copper mine. In 2016, growth is projected to remain sluggish at 2.2 percent due to continued recession in Russia and structural weaknesses. The economic activity index increased to 5.5 percent in January 2016 (y-o-y) supported by the tradable sector. The relative boost in economic activity, including the agri-export expansion, is explained by the base effect in January 2015 and needs to be maintained for a few more months before suggesting any adjustments in projections.

        The government introduced a fiscal stimulus in 2015 to support weakening economic activity, widening the fiscal deficit. The stimulus consisted of a combination of tax relief and increased spending in infrastructure investment, social protection and subsidized lending. The resulting fiscal deficit, of 4 percent of GDP (compared with 2 percent in 2014), was financed mainly by external borrowing, including Eurobonds and budget support from ACF/EEU and WB, leading to a build-up of government debt to 48 percent of GDP.

        The approved 2016 Budget includes revenue-raising measures and modest expenditure cuts to accommodate fiscal consolidation. Some of the tax policy changes pertaining to excise tax base and rate increases introduced in the fall of 2015 will positively affect the revenue collection however the overall tax to GDP ratio is expected to decline by 1 percentage point. There are no other major tax policy and tax administration changes envisaged by the 2016 state budget as the government is leading a major endeavor to finalize and submit to Parliament a unified tax code which is assumed to enter into force in 2018 and bring about significant policy, procedural and administrative changes. Public expenditures are planned to reduce by 1.5 percentage point of GDP, to achieve a target deficit of 3.5 percent of GDP. Changes in the 2016 expenditure composition refer to the increased allocation for economic sectors in a form of subsides, increased debt service spending which will be accommodated by the envisaged cuts in public procurements for goods and services. Actual revenue collection in January 2016 was lower than a year ago, reflecting the trend of a continued decline in imports. The fiscal pressure observed last year may be experienced again in 2016 if the January trend continues.

        Monetary policy was tight during the first half of 2015 but eased in the latter half, as inflationary pressures receded. A good agriculture harvest, lower international food prices and weak domestic demand resulted in the average annual inflation of minus 0.1 percent in 2015 – well below the CBA’s target range of 41.5 percent inflation. The Central Bank lowered the policy rate from 10.25 percent at the beginning of the year to 8.75 percent by the end of 2015. Inflation remained muted in January 2016 with 0.4 percent reduction of the over consumer price index helped by about 4 percent decline in food prices.

        Overall the banking sector remained sound in 2015. However non-performing loans soared from 3.7 percent at the beginning of 2015 to above 9 percent towards the end of the year. Higher dollarization and currency mismatches in the balance sheet pose risks to banking sector stability and profitability. Total lending declined in 2015 by 3.1 percent with FX-denominated loans suffering the largest contraction reflecting expectation of further dram appreciation. Commercial banks deposited excess forex at the CBA, which contributed to an increase in gross reserves by US$282 million over 2015. 2016 is expected to be a challenging year for the banking sector as the new requirement for minimum capital will enter into force on January 1, 2017.

        The current account position improved due to the sharp contraction in imports. Imports fell by 26.5 percent in 2015 and by 22 percent yoy in January 2016. Despite the decline in exports to Russia, there was only a marginal deterioration in exports of 3.9 percent in 2015, because of higher trade with China and Middle East. Overall exports contracted by 27.1 percent to the EEU – reflecting weak demand in Eurasia following the commodity price slump and the transactions costs associated with transitioning to the customs union’s procedures and requirements – and by 5.2 percent to the EU in 2015 compared to the previous year. The improvement in the trade balance compensated for the fall in remittances. Net remittances declined by 35.8 percent in 2015 (in USD, y-o-y,), driven by a 42.2 percent decline of net remittances from Russia. The improved current account position eased pressures on the dram, and the Central Bank reduced forex intervention sharply in the second half of the year, resulting in an increase in international reserves increased to US$1.77 billion at end-2015, compared with US$1.35 billion in January 2015. The trade deficit improved further in January 2016 as exports increased by 5.6 percent while imports contracted further by 22 percent.

        http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/...c-developments

        Comment


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Armenian developers’ Shadowmatic game named best in two categories of International Mobile Gaming Awards







          Armenian developers’ Shadowmatic game named best in two categories of International Mobile Gaming Awards


          YEREVAN, March 17. /ARKA/. Shadowmatic, a game of Armenian developers, has been recognized as winner in two categories of International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) contest in San Francisco, Bagrat Dabaghyan, technical director of Triada Studio, the developer of Shadowmatic, reported on his Facebook page.

          The game is the winner in the categories The Best Technical Achievement and People’s Choice.

          Dabaghyan thanked all fans and players who voted for Shadowmatic.

          The game has been included in the list of the best AppStore applications in 2015. Shadowmatic has been recognized best in Japan, China, Russia, India and other countries, and in Russia’s territory it has won the title The Game of the Year and has been atop the list.

          Shadowmatic was launched on January 15, 2015 and additional opportunities appeared in the game since then - Arcade Mode and new levels for children.

          Shadowmatic has won popularity. The application is available in 14 languages, including Armenian.

          The game has won Apple Design Awards and also ArmNet Awards 2015 contest in two nominations – ‘Design and Comfort/Mobile Application’ and ‘Innovations’.

          In November 2015, it became available also on Apple TV.
          IMGA contest is in its 12th year. It is one of the world best platforms for presentation of mobile applications.
          Mobile solutions for iPhone, Android and other systems are presented at the contest every year. --0----



          17:40 17.03.2016
          Hayastan or Bust.

          Comment


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            Moody's downgrades Armenia's government bond rating to B1, changes the outlook to stable from negative

            https://www.moodys.com/research/Mood...the--PR_345220

            ---

            After decades of plunder by the oligarchs, Armenia is about to get rocked by market forces.

            Comment


            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              EXPERT: DESERT PLANTS FOUND IN ARARAT VALLEY

              by Karina Manukyan

              Tuesday, March 22, 17:00

              One can already find desert plants in the Ararat Valley, Knarik
              Hovhannisyan, expert on water resources, said at a press conference
              on March 22.

              Several years ago, the Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection permitted
              fish farms to use 1.496 billion cu m, though the restorable stock of
              the underground water resources is 1.226 bln cu m. As a result, 122
              out of the 638 artesian wells of the Ararat Valley have dried out,
              with 6,200 ha of lands remaining almost without water.

              Hovhannisyan said that although certain steps are being taken to
              stabilize the situation (for instance, decommissioning of illegal
              artesian wells), the general situation in the Ararat Valley is far
              from being perfect.

              "Over the past two years, some desert plant species have been found
              here," she said.

              The expert also stressed that the water supply and irrigation systems
              of the republic experience big losses. Meanwhile, the relevant
              structures do not hurry to radically change the current situation.

              Hovhannisyan noted that some regions experience shortage of irrigation
              water and the local residents have to irrigate the orchards with
              sewage water.

              Earlier, USAID announced the launch of the Advanced Science and
              Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development Project (ASPIRED)
              - a three-year initiative designed to curb the rate of groundwater
              abstraction in the Ararat Valley to sustainable levels.

              The decreasing level of the groundwater supply and the uncontrolled
              use of artesian water by fish farms have left some 30 communities in
              the Ararat and Armavir marzes without reliable access to drinking or
              irrigation water, USAID Armenia Mission Director Karen Hilliard said.

              In addition, these water shortages pose a real threat to the country's
              agricultural sector, the socio-economic and environmental well-being
              of these regions, as well as the safety and security of Armenia's sole
              nuclear power plant, Metsamor, which relies on these water resources
              for its cooling system.

              https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2...uVf5ga5ou_k&e=
              Hayastan or Bust.

              Comment


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Fuller Center for Housing Armenia
                Contact: Rouzanne Sakanyan
                Fuller Center for Housing Armenia 59 Komitas Ave., 0051 Yerevan, RA
                Tel: +374 10 20 43 90
                Email: [email protected]
                Web: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2...PggVio1Dv_w&e=


                Advanced Rural Development Initiative (ARDI) Annual Workshop

                23 March, 2016 Yerevan


                On 23 March, 2016 the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia and Heifer Project
                International Armenia Branch organized an annual workshop of the Advanced
                Rural Development Initiative (ARDI) Program funded by USAID with the
                participation of 51 target community and cooperative representatives from
                Lori, Vayots Dzor and Syunik marzes.

                ARDI is a five-year program launched in September 2013. The program and
                aims to increase rural employment by tackling constraints to rural economic
                development in select rural communities of Syunik, Vayots Dzor and Lori
                provinces of Armenia. The program supports interventions in three main
                rural economic sectors and value chains: dairy processing, fruit processing
                and rural tourism. ARDI program is implemented by the Fuller Center for
                Housing Armenia and Heifer Project International Armenia Branch.

                The first stage includes assessment of competitive advantage of target
                communities, and the value chain that has more potential to develop in each
                cluster. With the next stage capacity building is organized for the cluster
                members, technical and financial support is granted.

                ARDI program emphasizes the importance of collaboration among farmers of
                target communities, joint discussions, collaboratively identifying and
                finding solutions for problems.

                For this purpose, ARDI program organized the Annual Workshop and the agenda
                included the following topics- unite farmers and cooperatives from
                different regions, which cooperate with different markets of agricultural
                products and services in various regions; RA Deputy Minister of Agriculture
                Robert Makaryan presented the policy of the Ministry of Agriculture, in
                terms of regulations of relations and contact among the producers and
                processors; ICARE foundation director Vardan Urutyan presented and
                explained the new law on agricultural cooperatives to participants; summary
                of ARDI program midterm results were presented.

                As well as the ACBA-Credit Agricole bank representatives presented the role
                of financial system in sustainability of agricultural cooperatives and the
                willingness of the bank to cooperate with the agricultural cooperatives.
                The Green Lad LTD introduced their services, particularly, gardening
                accessories and anti-hail systems which can be used by the cooperatives at
                rather attractive terms.

                At the end discussions were held about new infrastructural project ideas to
                be implemented by the program next year.


                Gohar Palyan
                Program Coordinator


                Fuller Center for Housing Armenia (ARDI program)
                59 Komitas Ave.,
                Yerevan 0051, Armenia
                email: [email protected]
                Office phone: + 374 10 20 43 90
                Hayastan or Bust.

                Comment


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                  Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                  Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                  Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

                  Comment


                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    Originally posted by londontsi View Post
                    Sounds cool. Transparency can indeed bring about positive changes but it can also relegate you to basically watching yourself get screwed. It all depends on the motives of those involved.
                    Hayastan or Bust.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                      Sounds cool. Transparency can indeed bring about positive changes but it can also relegate you to basically watching yourself get screwed. It all depends on the motives of those involved.
                      Had a further look at this organization membership.
                      Azerbaijan is already a member country.

                      Armenian just started the membership process.

                      https://eiti.org/Azerbaijan

                      https://eiti.org/armenia

                      .
                      Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                      Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                      Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

                      Comment

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