Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!)

1] What you CAN NOT post.

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is:
- abusive
- vulgar
- hateful
- harassing
- personal attacks
- obscene

You also may not:
- post images that are too large (max is 500*500px)
- post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or cited properly.
- post in UPPER CASE, which is considered yelling
- post messages which insult the Armenians, Armenian culture, traditions, etc
- post racist or other intentionally insensitive material that insults or attacks another culture (including Turks)

The Ankap thread is excluded from the strict rules because that place is more relaxed and you can vent and engage in light insults and humor. Notice it's not a blank ticket, but just a place to vent. If you go into the Ankap thread, you enter at your own risk of being clowned on.
What you PROBABLY SHOULD NOT post...
Do not post information that you will regret putting out in public. This site comes up on Google, is cached, and all of that, so be aware of that as you post. Do not ask the staff to go through and delete things that you regret making available on the web for all to see because we will not do it. Think before you post!

2] Use descriptive subject lines & research your post. This means use the SEARCH.

This reduces the chances of double-posting and it also makes it easier for people to see what they do/don't want to read. Using the search function will identify existing threads on the topic so we do not have multiple threads on the same topic.

3] Keep the focus.

Each forum has a focus on a certain topic. Questions outside the scope of a certain forum will either be moved to the appropriate forum, closed, or simply be deleted. Please post your topic in the most appropriate forum. Users that keep doing this will be warned, then banned.

4] Behave as you would in a public location.

This forum is no different than a public place. Behave yourself and act like a decent human being (i.e. be respectful). If you're unable to do so, you're not welcome here and will be made to leave.

5] Respect the authority of moderators/admins.

Public discussions of moderator/admin actions are not allowed on the forum. It is also prohibited to protest moderator actions in titles, avatars, and signatures. If you don't like something that a moderator did, PM or email the moderator and try your best to resolve the problem or difference in private.

6] Promotion of sites or products is not permitted.

Advertisements are not allowed in this venue. No blatant advertising or solicitations of or for business is prohibited.
This includes, but not limited to, personal resumes and links to products or
services with which the poster is affiliated, whether or not a fee is charged
for the product or service. Spamming, in which a user posts the same message repeatedly, is also prohibited.

7] We retain the right to remove any posts and/or Members for any reason, without prior notice.


Members are welcome to read posts and though we encourage your active participation in the forum, it is not required. If you do participate by posting, however, we expect that on the whole you contribute something to the forum. This means that the bulk of your posts should not be in "fun" threads (e.g. Ankap, Keep & Kill, This or That, etc.). Further, while occasionally it is appropriate to simply voice your agreement or approval, not all of your posts should be of this variety: "LOL Member213!" "I agree."
If it is evident that a member is simply posting for the sake of posting, they will be removed.

8] These Rules & Guidelines may be amended at any time. (last update September 17, 2009)

If you believe an individual is repeatedly breaking the rules, please report to admin/moderator.
See more
See less

Armenia's Economic Pulse

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #41
    Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    What are the prospects???

    Commencement of Drilling Operations in Armenia
    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Vancouver, Canada: - Transeuro Energy Corp ("Transeuro" or the "Company") (TSX-V, OSE:TSU) is pleased to announce the commencement of drilling operations in Armenia.

    * Karmir-1 exploration well spudded in Block 2, Armenia
    * Well targeting two horizons in the Karmir gas prospect
    * Drilling results expected by end year

    Drilling has started on the Karmir prospect in the Armavir region of Block 2, Armenia. Karmir-1 is the first exploration well to be drilled in the country for ten years.

    The well is targeting two horizons in the Karmir gas prospect, the Lower Sand Clay (LSC) and the Lower Multicoloured Suite (LMS), and is planned to have a total depth of 2200 meters. Drilling operations will be followed by flow-testing should hydrocarbons be discovered.

    The well is located less than 3km from a new gas pipeline route forming part of a recently installed domestic gas distribution system, and the Company is in discussion with the Government of Armenia regarding early hook-up of the well in the event of a commercial discovery.

    Harold Hemmerich, President and CEO, Transeuro Energy Corp. commented, "I am very pleased that Karmir-1 has spudded. The Company has entered an exciting operational phase and is now simultaneously drilling in Canada, Armenia and Ukraine, and is planning a drilling operation in PNG. The drilling results are keenly anticipated and will generate important information for the Company".

    Transeuro Energy Corp. is involved in the acquisition of petroleum and natural gas rights, the exploration for, and development and production of crude oil, condensate and natural gas. The Company's properties are located in Canada, Armenia, Papua New Guinea and Ukraine.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors

    "Harold Hemmerich" President and CEO

    The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed, and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release.

    Barrel of oil equivalent ("boe") amounts may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio has been calculated using a conversion rate of six thousand cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel and is based on an energy equivalent conversion method application at the burner tip and does not necessarily represent an economic value equivalent at the wellhead.

    This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to sell any of the securities in the United States. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act") or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to a U.S. Person unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available

    The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the targeted results. The Company relies upon litigation protection for forward looking statements.

    Transeuro Energy has a 100% interest in Block 2, the 7,250 square kilometres surrounding the capital city of Yerevan, across from Armenia's western border with Turkey. The company holds a Production Sharing Agreement with the government and is proceeding with an initial exploration program in the second quarter of 2007. The existing Karmir and Southwest Oktemberian (SWOKT) fields are delineated by 6 to 8 old Russian wells providing log and core data. Two wells in each field have produced gas to surface that, together with the well data, strongly suggests the presence of substantial gas reserves. Drilling of the first exploration well on Karmir is scheduled for the third quarter of 2007.

    Acquisition of 2D seismic was completed in 2006 to collect modern data over the structures to supplement the old seismic that has already been re-processed, and to pinpoint the downhole targets and surface locations.

    Numerous old wells and seismic data are available across the block and two main areas of interest have been identified, the Oktemberian gas region, and the Shorakhpur oil prospect.

    The gas region of Oktemberian contains the 'Karmir' gas field, delineated with 8 wells drilled in the 1960's with 2 wells producing dry gas to surface, but at sub-economic rates. Improved drilling practices utilizing managed pressure drilling techniques are expected to unlock the potential of the field. The first well is expected to spud in Q1 2007. The seismic interpretation suggests the possibility of a sizeable gas field, with 2 productive reservoirs, in the Lower Sand Clay (LSC) and the Lower Multi-coloured Suite (LMS). The well location has been chosen to investigate both horizons.

    A second well in the Oktemberian region will appraise the adjacent, updip South West Oktemberian structure (SWOKT). This 'field' was delineated by 6 wells in the 1960's and appears from logs to contain a substantial shallow gas prospect at around 400m subsurface. Two wells suffered blowouts with large gas releases, confirming the presence of gas in the upper zone. The lithology is expected to be very similar to the adjacent Karmir field so numerous stacked reservoirs are also expected in this location. The SWOKT appraisal well will be drilled into these deeper reservoirs to investigate the full potential of the structure.

    The second area of interest is 'Shorakhpur' some 40km to the east of Yerevan, where 2 old wells (Shorakhpur 1P and 31P) have identified oil potential in 2 horizons (middle Eocene and Paleocene) from logs and tests. The third well in the initial campaign will drill through both targets to a nominal depth of 3500m.

    Refurbishment of the drilling rig is proceeding well. A 'skytop Brewster' has been laying idle in Armenia since the American Armenian Exploration Company (AAEC) drilled the last well in 1998. The rig has been dismantled and removed to a yard in Yerevan. The rig is on schedule to be fully refurbished by year end, commissioned in January and mobilized to the first drilling location to commence the well in March.

    What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


    • #42
      Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      Does the following suggest how "business rules" are changing in Armenia?


      2007-09-17 21:47:00

      The AmRating Rating Agency enhanced the credit rating to ARARATBANK
      from 'B-' to 'B+', "stable" outlook. As the bank's press-service
      reports, the rating is substantiated by high development rates, maximum
      transparency, strong support by a financially independent owner,
      the available political resources, positive development dynamics,
      availability of a good potential for further development.

      The factors which clampdown the rating are as follows: insufficient
      diversification of liabilities, quick growth of the retail credit
      portfolio, characterized by increased risks, high level of competition.

      Enhancement of the bank's rating is conditioned by growth of assets
      under retention of capitalization at high level, development of the
      retail business, improvement of the level of diversification of the
      credit portfolio and liabilities, retention of positive assessments in
      the bank's corporate management. In May, 2007, the ARARATBANK issued
      and successfully placed non-documentary corporate coupon bonds with
      the emission volume of 250 mln drams which are actively quoted in the
      Armenian Stock Exchange ArmEx. Due to the active work in the market
      of government bonds, the bank was conferred the status of RA Finance
      and Economy Ministry's agent in June, 2007. In the tideway of the
      credit policy extension, the bank standardized granting of autocredits
      under its own steam. It also developed credit special programmes with
      discounts for corporate clients, as well as new interrelated deposit
      and card products.

      Executive Director of AmRating Emmanuil Mkrtchyan thinks that rating
      enhancement by two points at once indicates the bank's serious
      steps towards improvement of its key indicators and increase of the
      investment attractiveness by entry the market with a bonded debt and
      decision on reorganization to an Open Joint Stock Company. In this
      context, the AmRating's Director says, the ARARATBANK's cooperation
      with rating agencies becomes one of the important components of
      the business development. Chairman of the ARARATBANK's Board of
      Directors Ashot Osipyan thinks it is important to enhance the rating
      since it increases the trust towards the bank not only by clients
      and partners but the structures which cooperate with the bank. The
      "stable" rating forecast is an evidence of further improvement of
      the bank's indicators, successful implementation of technologies,
      extension of the spectrum of services and, as a result, the growing
      reliance on our development policy, A.

      Osipyan said. To note, the ARARATBANK is a small, private, developing
      bank of Armenia, which is controlled by one of the biggest oil traders
      of the country, the "Flesh" Company, by 100%. The main direction of
      activity at present is service of big and middle corporate clients.

      The bank also develops the retail business. The bank's strategy
      envisages its entry into the leading positions in Armenia in the sphere
      of retail services and crediting of economy's real sector. The bank
      takes part in the international credit programmes. The bank possessed 4
      branches as of the end of June, 2007, one of which, the Western Union,
      is the only specialized branch in the country. Two capital and four
      regional offices will be added to the acting branches in Yerevan and
      Nagorno Karabakh till the end, 2007.

      The AmRating is an independent Rating Agency of the Republic of Armenia
      being part of the GlobalRating group, which also includes the RusRating
      Agency (Russia) and KzRatingAgency (Kazakhstan). The AmRating Agency
      launched its work in December, 2006. The Agency's main services include
      conferral of a rating to the banks and study of the banking sector.

      What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


      • #43
        Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        Economic Policy


        September 17 2007

        Armenia's economy is ready for innovations, reported RA Minister of
        Trade and Economic Development Nerses Yeritsyan during the regional
        conference of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Incubator
        Network in Yerevan.

        "A high level of trade development has been recorded in Armenia for
        the past years. As a result, Armenia has become more competitive and
        is not afraid of innovations and is ready for technologic changes,"
        the Minister said.

        According to Yeritsyan, scientific innovations are part of Armenia's
        new economy. He pointed out that Armenia is a crossroad of cultures
        and a trade center.

        "Despite existing problems, Armenia remains at the crossroads of
        global trade and tries to be a leader," Yeritsyan said.

        According to him, by amending the existing legislation, the government
        supports the development of innovations in Armenia, which, in its turn,
        attracts foreign investments.

        The government focuses on establishing contacts between Armenian
        entrepreneurs and foreign partners, Yerstyan said.

        According to the Minister, the government adhere four basic principles
        for the development of innovations. These are the establishment of new
        mechanisms of financing, promotion of state and private cooperation,
        application of international innovation technologies and cooperation
        between universities and private companies.

        The ECA's conference "Stimulation of Innovations in East Europe and
        Central Asia 2007" involves 15 countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan,
        Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. The main objective of the
        ECA is to raise public awareness of innovations in the sphere of
        small and medium business.

        The ECA network was established by the InfoDev in 2002. Incubator
        businesses and industrial perks from 70 countries are included in it.

        The organizers of the conference are the WB InfoDev Program, Fund of
        Incubator Enterprises and Eastern Europe - Central Asia (ECA) Network
        for Business Incubations.The conference will close on September 20.


        September 17 2007

        Provision of 8-10% growth of Armenia's economy is a serious challenge
        for the country, said Minister of Trade and Economic Development
        Nerses Yeritsyan when summing up 100 days of work of holding the
        Minister's position.

        "This bar voiced by Armenia's Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan is a
        serious challenge for the country and requires concrete efforts to
        make corresponding decision," he said.

        Armenia's Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan pointed out in his interview
        to the Armenian newspaper "Azg" that in Armenia there is no other
        alternative than the maintenance of economic growth at the level of
        8-10%. He believes that it is a difficult but real task to achieve
        such results.

        According to official data, starting from 2002 the growth of the Gross
        Domestic Product (GDP) has been measured by double-digit figures
        (in 2002 - 13.2%, in 2003 - 14%, in 2004 - 10.5%, in 2005 - 14%,
        in 2006 - 13.4%). According to the Government's program approved by
        Armenia's National Assembly on June 26, in the coming 5 years 8-10%
        growth of the GDP is envisaged, which will allow Armenia in 2009 to
        enter the group of countries with average income.

        What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


        • #44
          Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Synopsys and the IT sector


          ARKA News Agency, Armenia
          Sept 25 2007

          YEREVAN, September 25. /ARKA/. The field of information technologies
          should modernize the structure of Armenia's economy, Armenian President
          Robert Kocharian told journalists after the official opening of the
          office building of Synopsys Armenia.

          "Information technologies should play a weighty role in the economy
          of Armenia," Kocharian said.

          According to him, attention and a system approach toward IT sphere
          seriously promotes the young people in selecting specialty.

          In providing faster development of IT field, the main problem is lack
          of specialists, Kocharian said.

          The President expressed confidence that the programs implemented by
          Synopsys Armenia lay groundwork for more serious development in IT
          area in future.

          "Synopsys company took root fundamentally in Armenia, which can
          give a good impetus to other companies for coming into the country,"
          Kocharian said.

          According to the information of the Ministry of Trade and Economic
          Development, annual growth of IT sector reached 15-20% in Armenia in
          2006, with total annual production in the sphere making 100mln dollars,
          as per the estimates.

          As per the data of 2006, the number of companies in IT sector reached
          200 in Armenia. More than 30% of them are companies with foreign
          investments. More than 5,000 people are employed in IT area.

          Synopsys Inc. entered the Armenian market in October 2004 after
          the signing of an agreement on merger of Leda Design and Monterey
          Arset into Synopsys Armenia Closed Joint Stock Company. The company
          carries out research and engineering works on automation of electronic
          designing, development of intellectual property, as well as industrial

          During the two years Synopsys provided technical investments for
          total of 360mln dollars to Armenia.

          Author: Editor: Eghian Robert

          Noyan Tapan News Agency, Armenia
          Sept 25 2007

          YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 25, NOYAN TAPAN. The lack of employees is one
          of the obstacles to the development of information technologies
          in Armenia. This gap can be filled by means of a program like the
          educational programs implemented by Synopsys company when the company
          solves the problem of its staff recruitment on its own. The Armenian
          president Robert Kocharian stated this on September 25 during a meeting
          with the recipients of the RA President's educational awards in the
          IT sector, which took place after the opening ceremony of the new
          office of Synopsys Armenia company.

          The president said that IT educational programs, namely, informatics
          programs should be revised so as to teach schoolchildren and children
          of preschool age to use computers and to promote the information
          society of the country. According to him, after the Internet
          liberalization in Armenia this year, investments are being made to
          create new networks of Internet connection which will increase the
          connection speed and reduce the tariffs of Internet services.

          The RA minister of education and science Levon Mkrtchian noted that
          training of informatics teachers has started under a World Bank credit
          program. 600 schols have been provided with computers, while starting
          from early 2008, all Armenian schools will have computers.

          300 schools have Internet connection, another 300 have been provided
          with the opportunity to connect to the Internet after Internet
          liberalization. In his words, the number of informatics lessons will
          be increased in accordance with the Development Concept of Natural
          Science and Information Technologies at Schools through 2015.

          Besides, it is envisaged that by 2009, there will be senior schools
          with a bias of physics and mathematics or a natural science bias in
          all Armenian marzes, with 30 of them starting to function in 2008.

          The ceremony of giving the RA President's educational awards was
          held at the RA Government's Reception House. The chief advisor to the
          president on economic issues Vahram Nersisiants handed awards to 20
          students of 4 universities and 7 pupils of 5 specialized schools. To
          recap, the award fund is financed by Synopsys based on the agreement
          signed with the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund in 2005.


          ARKA News Agency, Armenia
          Sept 24 2007

          YEREVAN, September 24. /ARKA/. The Russian-Armenian (Slavonic)
          University (RAU) and the IT-company Synopsys-Armenia have signed a
          cooperation agreement.

          According to RAU Rector Armen Darbinian, the agreement will open
          a new page in the cooperation with Synopsys-Armenia. He believes
          RAU-Synopsys-Armenia cooperation will enhance the education level
          of students.

          "Experienced specialists in information technologies play an essential
          role in the development of the sphere in Armenia," Darbinian said.

          President of Synopsys Dr. Chi-Foon Chan said the main target of the
          company's activities is training programs for young scientists.

          According to him, young specialists are innovators, and the cooperation
          will help to train highly experienced specialists.

          Dr. Chi-Foon Chan pointed out that graduates of the RAU are the
          intellectual power of Armenia. "In the near future, the university
          will give outstanding scientists who will have their own investment
          in the country's development," he said.

          The President of Synopsys informed that on the basis of the agreement
          with the RAU, an interuniversity chair "Scheme and Systems of
          Microelectronics" will be established soon.

          According to the agreement, Synopsys-Armenia will develop 50 university
          programs on computer-aided design (CAD) for the RAU.

          Dr. Chi-Foon Chan said the RAU's young lecturers (under 30) will
          pretend to a Synopsys grant named after the famous Armenian scholar
          Anania Shirakatsi.

          "The main purpose of the initiative is to arouse interest in teaching
          among young scholars," he said.

          The Synopsys Inc. entered the Armenian market in October 2004 after
          signing an agreement on Leda Design's and Monterey Arset's fusion into
          the Synopsys-Armenia Company. For the last two years the company's
          technical investments in Armenia have totaled $360mln.

          What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


          • #45
            Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


            ARKA News Agency, Armenia
            Sept 24 2007

            YEREVAN, September 24. /ARKA/. Armenia may receive a status of a
            country with market economy within a year, Armenian Minister of Trade
            and Economic Development Nerses Yeritsian told journalists.

            According to him, several economic issues are on the agenda of
            Armenia-EU discussions, among them establishment of free trade regime,
            provision of improved GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences) regime,
            recognition of Armenia as a country with market economy.

            These are long processes, Yeritsian said, but declaring of free trade
            regime and improved regime of GSP+ are the most important ones for
            Armenia as they relate to the goods' market.

            "Yet, the most prospective issue that may be solved in the near future
            is the recognition of Armenia as a country with market economy; in
            this we can achieve success in a half a year of a year if we make
            effective efforts," Yeritsian said.

            According to him, the remaining issues, after a preliminary discussion,
            will be passed on to the President Robert Kocharian who is to raise
            them during his visit to Brussels in the first half of October.

            Armenian ranked the 34th in the report of the World Bank and the
            International Financial Corporation "Doing Business 2007", taking
            the lead among the countries of the region and the Commonwealth of
            Independent States (CIS).

            Based on the classification of "Indicator of economic freedom 2006"
            of 161 countries published by World Street Journal and Heritage
            Foundation, Armenia improved its position from the 42nd in 2005
            to 27th.

            According to the results of the research by Heritage Foundation,
            the level of freedom of Armenia's economy is at 69.4% out of 100%
            possible. Business freedom index is 84.5%; the other indices are as
            follows: trade freedoms 75.6%, fiscal freedoms 93.1%, freedom from
            interference of state in economy 91.6%, monetary freedoms 79.7%,
            investment freedoms 60%, financial freedoms 70%, property rights 30%,
            freedom from corruption 29%, and freedom on labor market 80.9%. The
            document also says that low inflation level is recorded in Armenia
            and that the country's banking sector is completely privatized and
            well manageable.

            What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


            • #46
              Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              Financial Markets: Banking & Securities

              In the course of the nearest 3 years Armenian banking sector will live through a boom of mergers and sales

              Interview of the General Director of “Converse Bank” Artak Anesian to Mediamax News Agency and web-portal

              - With the arrival of a new owner in the person of Eduardo Ernekian, “Converse Bank” started carrying out an active policy of selection of new staff. Does this mean that the personnel changes in the bank evidence large-scale changes, planned by the new owner?

              - The personnel changes in the bank are not directly connected with the new strategy, which is planned by Mr. Ernekian. “Converse Bank” has been constantly working and continues working to attract new staff, to increase the level of professional preparedness. Our plans for the nearest future include the extension of the team of the bank, which is first of all connected with the extension of the branch network. By the end of the year, we plan to open 8 new branches, and in the course of the year of 2008 - 24 more branches. The branch network of “Converse Bank” should cover the whole territory of Armenia.

              For the course of the nearest one year the bank has an aim set to occupy at least the second place in the banking system of the country as to such indices as the volume of assets and the capital, the range and the variety of the offered services, the number of customers, the market of plastic cards, the branch network, etc. There is a corresponding program elaborated, which has gained the approval of the Board of the bank.

              Mr. Ernekian is considering the prospect of increasing the capital of the bank, and it is expected that the corresponding decision will be made by the end of the year.

              In early October, there will be a new program of agro-crediting implemented in the bank, which provides for providing credits on auspicious conditions to farmers and processing companies. The credit will be provided at the term of 3-5 years, with a preliminary interest rate of 12-14% per year.

              We have also reconsidered the conditions of mortgage crediting; in particular, we have increased the terms of credit provision and decreased the interest rates.

              By the end of October, we plan to start providing leasing services; we also consider the prospect of implementing factoring.

              - The representatives of commercial banks welcome the arrival of new banks in the Armenian market in their public statements. How honest are those statements?

              - Already today becomes quite apparent the tendency of arrival of a number of large financial organizations in the Armenian banking market. Moreover, those organizations possess serious resources and technologies. The point is both the purchase of the existing banks and the establishment of new ones.

              One of these days a statement was made on the purchase of “Armimpexbank” by a Russian investment company “Troika Dialogue”, the deal on the sale of “ITB International Trade Bank” to the Lebanese “Byblos Bank” is close to its conclusion, the Russian “Gazprombank” is in the process of negotiations on the purchase of “Areximbank”, in the nearest future the new “Procreditbank” will be established, which will be specializing in crediting of small and medium enterprises.

              It is natural that the inflow of non-expensive resources will lead to the intensification of competition, and the Armenian banks should think about the diversification of their resource basis. Besides, the arrival of new banks will stimulate the implementation of new technologies and products, which will lead to the reconsideration of the existing products - both on their quality and the price parameters. As to many forecasts, this will take place earlier than mid-2008.

              Today the credit investments of the banks make only the 10% of the GDP, which is the lowest index in the region. This evidences that the banking system of Armenia has sufficient potential for growth in the spheres of crediting and attraction of deposits.

              In conditions of growing competition, it will be especially difficult for the small banks, which will have to think about a merger or a sale. I believe that in the course of the nearest 3 years the Armenian banking sector will live through a boom of mergers and sales. To my mind, the presence of 5 large and 2-3 specialized banks will be enough for maintaining the banking system of the country.

              - In the condition of a growing competition, the banks of Armenia started attaching great importance to the implementation of new technologies. Aren’t those innovations untimely from the point of view that the population of the country does not have sufficient skills for their practical implementation?

              - The answer is definite – no, since the implementation of new technologies in the banking market of Armenia takes places simultaneously with the world trends. It is another issue how to make the presentation of the new products to the population more accessible.

              Nevertheless, there are certain improvements already. If 2 years ago the 95% of the users of the “Bank-Customer” system made the non-resident organizations, already today there are many resident users – organizations and individuals. Besides, the tendency of growth of plastic cards users is noticeable.

              - Does “Converse Bank” plan to turn to international agencies for gaining a rating?

              - Gaining a rating is not an aim in itself for us. The main aim of be given a rating is the establishment of conditions for attracting resources from the external markets, which is secures by issues of bonds. This year we do not plan to issue bonds and we have made a decision to apply for gaining a rating in 2008. This is conditioned by our striving to enter the securities market, as well as the international markets, aiming at attracting syndicated credits.

              In any case, the partner-banks know us well - we have in fact become the first Armenian bank, which, lacking a rating, received from a correspondent-bank a non-secured credit resource (letters of credit) for realization of trade operations.

              - What results did “Converse Bank” reach this year?

              - Due to understandable reasons, we started this year with quite low indices – in the course of 5-6 months the bank was in the process of sale and did not carry out active policy in the market. Starting from February of 2007, with the arrival of the new owner, we started an active activity, due to which the volume of our assets, the credit investments and the profitability of the bank increased.

              I can say for sure that the plans for this year will be fulfilled and we will even be ahead of the schedule. In the course of 9 months of 2007, we fulfilled the yearly plan as to the volume of assets. The credit investments of the bank increased for 80%, and it is expected that by the end of the year the given index will increase at least for 120-130%. Starting from June, the bank has been ahead of the schedule as to the profitability part, and I am sure that the given tendency will continue until the end of the year.

              P.S. Starting next week, Artak Anesian will occupy the position of the Executive Director of “Armimpexbank”, purchased by the Russian “Troika Dialogue” Company. wishes Mr. Anesian good luck in this walk of life.

              “Troyka Dialogue” to establish an investment bank on the basis of “Armimpexbank”

              Yerevan, September 21 /Mediamax/. Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia Tigran Sarkisian described as “very important deal in the banking market of Armenia” the acquisition of “Armimpexbank” by the famous Russian “Troika Dialogue” investment company.

              Mediamax reports that, speaking at a news conference in Yerevan today, Tigran Sarkisian expressed hope that the arrival of such an authority player as “Troika Dialogue” in the Armenian banking market will assist the growth of competition, the implementation of new banking services and the increase of the interest of foreign investors for Armenia.

              President of “Troika Dialogue” Company Ruben Vardanian stated today that “jointly with our partner - “Ameria” Company - we have been for a long time following the development of the financial market of Armenia”. According to him, “we believe that the economy in Armenia has reached the stage when it is possible to talk about the development of the securities market and the necessity to offer the customers new investment instruments”.

              Ruben Vardanian noted that “Troika Dialogue” and “Ameria” intend to establish an investment bank on the basis of “Armimpexbank”, which will allow providing the customers services by the following chain formula: financial market – real economy sector – capital market.

              The special fund, established by “Troika Dialogue”, purchased 96% of the shares of “Armimpexbank” from the British businessman Vache Manukian for $13mln. Ruben Vardanian noted that the volume of investments in “Armimpexbank” by the beginning of 2008 will make up to $50mln. He noted that “in the course of the nearest 2-3 years we plan to become one of the three leaders of the Armenian banking market”.

              Ruben Vardanian stated that the leadership of “Armimpexbank” “will undergo serious innovations”; the re-branding of the bank can not be rule out as well.

    , Armenia

              Raiffeisen International confirmed that it is considering the possibility of acquisitions in Armenia

              Yerevan, September 20 /Mediamax/. Head of Raiffeisen International
              Herbert Stepic confirmed that the bank is considering the possibility
              of acquisitions in Russia, Kazakhstan and Armenia, however, he refused
              to name the possible objects of the purchase.

              Reuters reports that Raiffeisen International explained its intention
              to emit new shares at the sum of 1,2bln euro aiming at gaining free
              financial means for purchasing attractive assets in Eastern Europe and
              the former USSR.

              `We will get the necessary resource, which will allow us giving quick
              reaction to the appearance of opportunities in the market. I can say
              that we fill our tanks in a way so that the highly efficient engine is
              capable of continuing working on high speeds', Herbert Stepic stated.

              Mediamax recalls that in May 2007 Herbert Stepic already stated the
              intention of Raiffeisen International to acquire banks in Kazakhstan
              and Armenia.

              `When we have a worthwhile target it's possible that we will go ahead
              with an acquisition. The most important condition for us is the
              political situation in the country. We will go to places where the
              government and the president like us', Stepic said then.

              Raiffeisen is already strongly represented in the former Soviet Union
              and Eastern Europe and is the biggest foreign credit institution in
              Russia, where it owns and is merging `Raiffeisenbank Austria' and

              Mediamax notes that `Impexbank' is the owner of 19,91% shares of the
              Armenian `Areximbank'.

              ACP to issue bonds on sept 26-oct 9

              20/09/2007 16:36

              The Armenian Copper Programme (ACP) is to issue its corporate bonds
              September 26 to October 9, 2007. The ACP Company reports that 10,000
              bonds at a nominal value of 50,000 AMD each are to be issued, the bond
              turnover being 18 months and the annual interest rate 10%.

              On September 18, the Board of the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA)
              registered a declaration on securities, including a prospectus of a
              bond issue by the Armenian ACP Company.

              The company's bonds will be floated by means of a syndicate formed of
              the ArmSwissBank (250mln AMD), Armenian Development Bank (100mln AMD)
              and Futures Capital Market credit institution (50mln AMD).

              The ArmSwissbank is the principal underwriter, through which 100mln
              AMD bonds will be floated by means of public subscription. All
              individuals and legal entities that will apply for the purchase of
              bonds can take part in the public subscription.

              The CBA assigned a G+ rating (according to the Armenian alphabetic
              order) to ACB.

              The ACP forms part of the Vallex Group of Companies was founded in
              august 1997, with a paid up authorized capital of $1.08mln. The Group
              comprises the ACP Company, Base Metals Ltd., Vallex Mining and the
              Institute of Mining and Smelting close corporation.

              Armrosgasprom bonds listed on Armenian stock exchange

              YEREVAN, September 27. /ARKA/. Corporate bonds of the ArmRosgasprom Company worth 1bln AMD have been listed on the Armenian Stock Exchange (ARMEX).

              “This means that operations with ArmRosgasprom bonds will be carried out in ARMEX, investors will be able to purchase them through brokerage firms registered on ARMEX,” the ArmRosgasprom’s press service reports.

              The bonds are highly appraised, which is evidence of the company’s stable financial development. ARMEX offered the company to have its bonds listed at a high level (Abond). Only one Armenian company, Araratbank, has its bonds listed at this level.

              On September 18, 2007, the Board of the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) decided not to prevent the listing of discount registered bonds of ArmRosgasprom on ARMEX.

              The ArmRosgasprom Board of Directors approved a 5bln AMD bond issue program being implemented to fund gas-supply installation in Armenia.

              In July 4, ArmRosgasprom completed the primary distribution of 18-month coupon bonds. The 1bln AMD corporate bonds were issued. The company issued 100,000 medium-term coupon bonds, the nominal value of one bond being 10,000 AMD.

              The annual interest rate is 9%. The company issues medium-term corporate bonds to funds the connection of prospective gas consumers to the gas-supply network. P.T.

              Last edited by Siamanto; 09-30-2007, 11:25 AM.
              What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


              • #47
                Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


                M2 Presswire
                October 1, 2007

                at the Conclusion of an IMF Mission to Armenia 1994-2007 M2
                COMMUNICATIONS LTD

                A International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Ms. Marta
                Castello-Branco, visited Yerevan during the period September 5-19,
                2007, to conduct discussions for the fifth review under the Poverty
                Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement, and to seek
                understandings on the 2008 budget. Mr. Lorenzo Perez, Deputy Director
                of the IMF, also participated in the concluding policy discussions.

                The mission met with government officials, Central Bank of Armenia
                (CBA) staff, business representatives, and the international donor
                community. A key task of the mission was to reach understandings on
                an appropriate policy framework for the remainder of 2007 and 2008,
                in light of the need to manage large-scale foreign exchange inflows and
                to deal with emerging expenditure pressures associated with the planned
                pension increases and a potential hike in import gas prices in 2009.

                The mission issued the following statement at the conclusion of the
                mission on September 18, 2007:

                "Economic performance remains strong, with double-digit growth, low
                inflation, and a further improvement in tax collection. The outlook
                for 2008 and beyond remains positive, in view of favorable investment
                prospects and availability of external grants. Import growth continues
                to outpace export growth, but strong inflows of remittances should
                dampen the impact of the appreciating dram on the current account
                deficit. Since foreign exchange inflows are expected to persist, to
                maintain external competitiveness the authorities need to keep prudent
                monetary and fiscal policies, and remove structural impediments to
                economic growth.

                "The PRGF-supported program remains on track. Program measures will
                continue to focus on maintaining macroeconomic stability and on
                implementing structural reforms to strengthen tax administration and
                improve financial intermediation.

                "A prudent fiscal stance in recent years has contributed to low
                inflation, high growth, and low public debt. Going forward, continued
                sound fiscal policy will be essential for maintaining macroeconomic
                stability and external competitiveness, as well as encouraging foreign
                investment. At the same time, increasing the tax revenue/GDP ratio in
                a transparent and nondiscretionary manner will be crucial to finance
                infrastructure projects, expand essential poverty-reducing services,
                and improve the business environment.

                "Inflation remains well within the authorities' target band (4
                1.5 percent), but the central bank should stand ready to tighten
                monetary policy if high food and energy import prices exert
                inflationary pressure. The recent pick-up in credit growth is a
                positive development and, together with the expected entry of new
                foreign banks, should help increase financial intermediation. To
                avoid possible risks related to a rapid expansion of bank credit,
                the CBA should continue to hold banks to high prudential standards
                and encourage further improvement in banks' risk management and in
                borrower transparency (through strengthened corporate governance and
                accounting, and an effective credit bureau.

                "While the business environment has improved markedly, several recent
                surveys highlight important remaining challenges, particularly
                regarding tax administration, access to credit, and domestic
                competition. Addressing these shortcomings will be crucial to enhance
                productivity and improve Armenia's competitiveness. The entry of
                new banks and the acceleration in credit growth are good news in
                that regard. However, further action is needed to strengthen tax
                administration and to encourage domestic competition. To that end,
                the mission considers as top priorities:

                o To make serious efforts to modernize tax administration, while
                increasing efficiency, transparency, and fairness in tax collection.

                Discretionary means, such as the accumulation of unprocessed VAT
                refunds and requests for advance tax payments should not be used for
                achieving revenue targets.

                o To look for ways to reduce monopolistic practices in the import
                business, with a view to increasing the pass-through of exchange rate
                changes to domestic prices.

                o To allow current tax exemptions to expire, while not introducing
                new exemptions or tax amnesties. International experience has shown
                that what is crucial to encourage enterprise development is removing
                existing barriers and bottlenecks in order to create a level playing
                field and further improve the business environment."

                CONTACT: Public Affairs Tel: +1 202 623 7300 Fax: +1 202 623 6772
                Media Relations Tel: +1 202 623 7100 Fax: +1 202 623 6278

                (M2 Communications Ltd disclaims all liability for information provided
                within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties.

                Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at
       on the world wide web. Inquiries to
                [email protected]).

                What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


                • #48
                  Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                  Global Insight
                  October 5, 2007

                  Poverty-Reduction Programme Remains on Track in Armenia, IMF Concludes

                  by Venla Sipila

                  The latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment of the
                  Armenian economy restates that the economy is performing well and has
                  achieved sound progress with restructuring, but sizeable reform
                  challenges still remain.

                  Reforms on Course

                  The IMF in September conducted a mission to Armenia, to discuss
                  near-term policy framework for the fifth review under the country's
                  Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement. The mission
                  held meetings with government and Central Bank of Armenia (CBA)
                  officials and representatives of the business sector and the
                  international donor community. In particular, the Fund hoped to reach
                  an understanding of appropriate macro-economic policies in the light
                  of the need to manage strong foreign-exchange inflows, and to find
                  the best way to deal with intensifying expenditure pressures
                  connected with the planned pension increases and the further rise in
                  the price of gas, potentially to be tackled in 2009.

                  Global Insight Perspective
                  Significance After concluding its latest mission to Armenia in
                  September, the IMF commended the country's strong economic
                  performance and pointed out that prudent fiscal policy has supported
                  high growth, low inflation, and modest public debt levels.
                  Implications Armenia's relationship with the IMF and other
                  international lenders remains good, and its access to concessionary
                  financing should thus prove unproblematic. This is important, as the
                  country still faces considerable challenges on its reform path.
                  Outlook As highlighted by the IMF, one of the most pressing areas
                  calling for further reform effort is continued strengthening of tax
                  administration; additionally, improving financial intermediation and
                  increasing domestic competition are key tasks.

                  After concluding the mission, the IMF issued a statement outlining
                  its views of Armenia's reform progress and the remaining challenges.
                  The Fund concluded that the economic outlook for next year and beyond
                  remains positive, while the PRGF-supported reform programme remains
                  on track.

                  It has been reported that the IMF will consider approving the fifth
                  tranche under the current PRGF arrangement in the near future.
                  According to ARMINFO, the executive council of the IMF may extend a
                  further sum of over US$5 million in assistance under the programme in
                  November. The fourth tranche under the current assistance programme
                  was approved in May (seeArmenia: 25 May 2007.

                  Tasks Ahead

                  The Fund-supported development programme will continue to focus on
                  maintaining macro-economic stability and on implementing structural
                  reforms necessary to improve tax administration and to support
                  increased financial intermediation. The IMF stressed that keeping to
                  responsible fiscal policy is essential in order to achieve this and
                  to maintain external competitiveness, and also to support foreign
                  investment. In addition, increasing the ratio of tax revenue to GDP
                  further and enhancing the transparency and fairness of tax collection
                  will be of crucial importance in order to finance important
                  infrastructure projects, reduce poverty, and to strengthen the
                  business environment.

                  The IMF also stated that while import growth continued to exceed the
                  rate of export growth, the extent to which the widening trade deficit
                  is translated into a weakening current account is mitigated through
                  strong remittance inflows, as these dampen the impact of an
                  appreciating dram exchange rate on the overall external balance.
                  However, the expected continued strength of foreign currency inflows
                  further underlines the crucial need to support external
                  competitiveness by adhering to suitably tight monetary and fiscal
                  policies as well as to make further progress with structural reform
                  in order to enhance growth potential.

                  Further, the Fund noted that while inflation remains within the
                  authorities target band of 4% +/- 1.5%, the CBA should be willing to
                  step in and tighten monetary policy if inflationary pressure
                  increases. The IMF also stated that while the recent acceleration in
                  credit growth is positive in that it supports the goal of increasing
                  financial intermediation, it also poses risks and needs to be
                  combined with appropriate regulation and risk management. Among other
                  things, this calls for implementing high prudential standards and
                  seeking to improve corporate governance.

                  Outlook and Implications

                  The newest IMF assessment reiterates the persistent, key challenges
                  on the Armenian reform path; it is vital to strive and improve tax
                  administration further, while it is also imperative to keep
                  macro-economic policies compatible with sustainable management of the
                  strong foreign currency inflows.

                  One key problem with Armenian public finances is that revenue
                  collection is still suppressed by the vast shadow economy. The budget
                  proposal put forward by the government targets fiscal revenue at some
                  21.2% of GDP (see Armenia: 4 October 2007. According to ARKA News,
                  the government hopes to boost revenue next year by suppressing the
                  black economy. A more transparent tax administration would also help
                  in supporting productivity and competitiveness. Increasing general
                  competitiveness of the industrial sector also has a connection to the
                  tax policy in that reforms in the system of tax rebates and fixed
                  payments would be needed in order to create an even playing field for
                  producers, and to support efficient allocation of resources. This,
                  further, is necessary in order to increase Armenia's long-term growth
                  potential and export earnings capacity.

                  The Armenian monetary authorities have let the dram appreciate
                  strongly in response to sizeable foreign currency inflows in the form
                  of workers' remittances from the Armenian diaspora and FDI. A
                  flexible exchange rate has been a prerequisite for implementing an
                  inflation targeting policy, where the Central Bank of Armenia has
                  been relatively successful. There should still be some strengthening
                  capacity for the dram without the threat of overvaluation. However,
                  in the longer term, further continued appreciation may start to harm
                  the competitiveness of Armenian domestic industries. Given the
                  importance of foreign currency remittances in the economy, continued
                  dram appreciation may also become politically more difficult in the
                  long term, as dram appreciation reduces the domestic currency value
                  of US$-nominated revenue. This scenario also would risk making the
                  task of lowering dollarisation in the economy more difficult. This,
                  further, would make monetary control in the economy in general more
                  challenging. Consequently, increased financial-sector development is
                  of crucial importance in order to increase the means available for
                  monetary authorities for sterilising currency market interventions.
                  In addition, more developed financial markets would allow exporters
                  increased opportunities to hedge exchange rate risk.

                  What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


                  • #49
                    Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    Economic Policy


                    ARKA News Agency, Armenia
                    Oct 5 2007

                    YEREVAN, October 5. /ARKA/. The work with small and medium business
                    must be reformed at the state level, RA minister of Trade and Economic
                    Development Nerses Yeritsyan stated at his meeting with teachers and
                    students of Armenian State University of Economy.

                    According to him, the Government should pay more attention to small
                    and medium business.

                    "An increase in the number of cases of know-how has been recorded in
                    Armenia over the last few years, which is decisive for determining
                    the most promising industries," Yeritsyan said.

                    He pointed out that the sector is now developing well, serious
                    organizations are being established able to create up to 300 jobs
                    and ensure rapid development due to the introduction of modern

                    "Small and medium business may become the important engine that will
                    show us the most secure directions of industrial development and
                    ensure Armenia's global competitiveness," he said.

                    The RA National Center for Small and Medium Business Promotion reports
                    that the share of small and medium business in Armenia's GDP was 40.3%
                    in 2006 against 39.8% in 2005. The share of small and medium business
                    in Armenia's exports was 16.9% in 2006 against 16.4% in 2005.

                    A total of 350mln AMD were budgeted in 2006 for the implementation of a
                    government program of small and medium business promotion, with about
                    110mln AMD attracted under programs of cooperation with international
                    organizations and local government bodies. ($1 - AMD 332.87).

                    Harutyun Gevorgyan

                    Hayots Ashkharh Daily, Armenia
                    Oct 5 2007

                    Interview with Head of the Committee on Financial-Credit and Budgetary
                    Affairs Gagik Minasyan

                    " For a long period of time our economy has been recoding an
                    unprecedented growth, due to which we provide a dynamically developed
                    state budget. We have recorded an unprecedented high rate also due
                    to tax-GDP ratio. And I must mention that during the coming years
                    this growth will not only be continuous but also rapid.

                    All this is the verification of the fact that our economy and business
                    atmosphere is improving. In the sum of taxes, the sector of direct
                    taxes grows more swiftly than the general volume of the tax income. The
                    tempo of tax income growth exceeds the tempo of GDP growth. During
                    the coming years we are going to face two principal challenges.

                    Firstly we must reduce the volumes of shadow economy. We have always
                    struggled against shadow, but we intend to progress in our achievements
                    in this sphere.

                    The next not less important issue is to create equal competitive
                    conditions. Thus we will get rid of oligarchy, which will promote
                    the development of economy and will shift market relations to a new
                    qualitative plane.

                    The draft budget of the coming year has recorded certain mechanisms
                    and formulae for the settlement of these problems. It particularly
                    envisages bringing tax-GDP ratio to 16,2%, which is an unprecedented
                    index for Armenia. It is impossible to achieve such results without
                    a principled, serious, and effective struggle against shadow.

                    "Do you think the reproach of the opposition activists saying that
                    you could have started this struggle against shadow and corruption
                    long ago, is justified?"

                    " If we evaluate our opportunities from the height of our economic,
                    legislative, social and cultural achievements, with a retrospective
                    glance, it seems that we could have started to struggle against all
                    the defective phenomena earlier and more effectively. But those who
                    observe the issue from that point of view they forget that, years
                    ago we lacked this civil society, legislative field, this knowledge
                    and opportunities and why not this Mass Media level."

                    "Recently Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan announced that the punitive
                    measures for economic violations and abuses would be criminal and
                    maximum strict. Does this suggest beneficial preconditions for the
                    entrepreneurs to come out of the shadow?"

                    "The reforms of the second generation are the pre-conditions that
                    are in the stage of implementation. Legislative activity, in this
                    respect, is of great importance. The thing is there are loopholes
                    in the law as well. And many dishonest entrepreneurs and officials
                    make use of these loopholes. I don't think any entrepreneur can work
                    in shadow without cooperation with a state official. In this respect
                    the struggle against shadow and corruption must be multi-plan.

                    Law is one of them and we have already made certain amendments and
                    supplementations that demolish the opportunities of similar criminal
                    cooperation. Particularly the law on "Simplified Tax" was aimed
                    at the development of small and medium enterprises. But after some
                    period of time negative aspects of this law were also manifested and
                    those working by this law managed to evade taxes more easily. Thus
                    the framework of the "Simplified Tax" was limited."

                    " Mr. Minasyan, can the weighty surplus of budget lead to undesirable
                    social consequences?"

                    "The expenditure of 2008 state budget will make up 820 billion 800
                    million drams. For a comparison I must underscore that the budget of
                    the current year makes up 583 billion 700 drams. It is a consequence
                    of shadow reduction and increase of tax debit. Thus we will mainly
                    solve social problems.

                    Hence we can state that the surplus of the budget will definitely
                    have consequences but they will be desirable and positive. It is
                    a false statement to say that after shifting to the taxation field
                    the entrepreneurs will increase the prices. Competition is one of
                    the positive manifestations of market economy, which lacks negative
                    consequences. The opposite statement is only a political speculation
                    and is very far from the logic of economy.

                    During the previous years the social allowances, pension and salary
                    have increased, which will continue during the coming years and with
                    high paces and effectiveness. In parallel with the reduction of shadow,
                    market economy will have new qualitative manifestations.

                    And I would like our society to call the budget of the coming year
                    "The First Budget of the Second Phase of Economic Reforms."

                    What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


                    • #50
                      Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


                      ArmInfo Agency, Armenia
                      Oct 3 2007

                      ArmInfo. The second stage of the Armenian financial market reforms is
                      underway, Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan said
                      at the Armenian parliament, presenting the draft law on securities
                      market and the related package of draft laws in the first reading,

                      T.Sargsyan said the reforms are aimed at transition from the the
                      securities market regulation system to the concept of commercial
                      system. He added that up to this moment, the American model
                      has been used as a basis of reforming the securities market in
                      Armenia. Now the government proposes transition to the European
                      model. In particular, this implies several changes in the organized
                      securities market. Firstly, the stock market should include the
                      companies that make initial public offerings (IPO) or have quoted
                      securities. In other words, the matter concerns the companies, which
                      publicly collect free cash on their own initiative. Secondly, banks
                      and credit organizations should have the right to take a direct part
                      in the securities market without any additional license. Given that
                      now commercial banks are the key players in the securities market,
                      this change may have a real impact on development of the equity market.

                      There should be a single-whole policy of control and regulation of
                      financial institutions, and this is extremely important to small
                      countries. T.Sargsyan thinks that this will help avoiding new risks
                      that may expand from the securities market to the credit one, then to
                      the insurance market and, finally, affect the whole financial market
                      of the country. The Central Securities Depositary is to serve also
                      as a commercial organization contributing to attraction of foreign

                      Armenia has already signed a memorandum of mutual understanding with
                      the Swedish exchange operator OMX whereby the company became the
                      owner of the Central Securities Depositary and the Armenian Exchange.

                      Under the memorandum, the Swedish company is to participate in the
                      development of the republic's financial market. This required changes
                      in the legislation of Armenia i.e. transition to the European model
                      of the securities market regulation. Particularly, the experience
                      of Estonia and Slovenia was used. As a result, a number of items
                      have been included in the law, which made the regulation of the
                      securities market more flexible and efficient. In its turn, this will
                      allow the Armenian financial market getting integrated into European
                      stock exchanges. In particular, this will allow Armenian companies
                      selling their shares in the leading European stock exchanges without
                      additional serious funds. According to the CB research, at the moment,
                      20 Armenian companies, which dealt with OMX, have been allowed to
                      this program. The draft law also solves the problem of compulsory
                      registration of companies' issue prospectus only in case of public
                      offerings and stock floatation.

                      At the same time, there are more exceptions which aim to facilitate
                      the companies' activity. In addition, more serious attention will be
                      paid to the companies which are to make IPO. The draft law stipulates
                      a programmed issue of shares, which is banned by the current law.

                      This means that a joint-stock company has the right to submit one
                      application to the regulating body for issue of shares, as well
                      as the time and volume of the issue, and not to apply constantly
                      to the regulator with the same request. The circle of professional
                      participants also increases in the market due to banks and credit

                      Thus, 5 companies have already issued their bonds. The order of
                      internal safety of the issued securities and the responsibility
                      for price abuse has already been established. The Central Securities
                      Depositary serves as a joint-stock company, and its activity is subject
                      to licensing by the regulating body. This will allow the Central
                      Securities Depositary becoming a profit organization, which will lead
                      to attraction of investments and development of the financial market.

                      The parliament approved the draft law in the first reading.

                      What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.