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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    Minimal salary to double in Armenia






    June 20, 2012 | 02:48
    YEREVAN. – Minimal salary will at least double in Armenia.

    To note, as of January 1, 2011 minimal salary in Armenia was AMD 32.5 thousand. In 2001 it was AMD 5 thousand, in 2006 – AMD 15 thousand. The overall growth of salaries stimulates the growth of the minimal salary.

    As of April 2012 the average salary in Armenia was AMD 118.5 thousand ($ 285). For comparison, in 2001 the average salary was AMD 24.6 thousand, in 2006 – AMD 62 thousand. If in 5 years the minimal salary grows, the average salary might reach the amount of AMD 200 thousand ($500).
    http://news.am/eng/news/110131.html

    Good lord with 500 euros with ur own house in Yerevan u can have it all,i hope things go well hell even if it reaches 700-800 im gonna move back
    You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

    Comment


    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      New Date Set For Armenian Fertilizer Production

      Naira Bulghadarian
      Հրապարակված է՝ 03.07.2012
      An Armenian chemical company will finally start producing next month mineral fertilizers that will fully meet domestic agricultural demand, senior government officials in Yerevan said on Tuesday.

      Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetian and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian made the announcement after signing a memorandum that commits their ministries to helping the Vanadzor-Khimprom company launch manufacturing operations. But they did not elaborate on that assistance.

      The ministers said Vanadzor-Khimprom will manufacture 50,000 tons of fertilizers widely used by Armenian farmers and create around 300 new jobs for that purpose. Armenia imports up to 35,000 tons of them each year.

      “We will organize manufacturing operations in our country and that money (import expenditure) will not leave our country,” Karapetian told reporters. “Secondly, villagers will be able to use cheaper fertilizers of higher quality, which is very important for us.”

      The Soviet-era chemical plant based in the northern city of Vanadzor is still reeling from the 2008-2009 global economic crisis and the resulting collapse of international prices of calcium carbide, its main product. It stopped manufacturing the chemical compound used in steelmaking and sent much of its 830-strong workforce on indefinite leave in late 2008. The company currently manufactures only construction materials and employs about 200 people.

      The idea of fertilizer production at Vanadzor-Khimprom was first floated by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian in 2009. The company announced the impending launch of production operations a year later. However, they were delayed because of company executives say are financial and technological obstacles.

      “Our specialists have worked at the plant for the last several months and I am sure that production will definitely be launched [in August,]” said Karapetian.

      Energy Minister Movsisian also ruled out a further delay in fertilizer production. He told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the Russian-owned company has already purchased and installed the necessary equipment.

      The Armenian government has long subsidized retail prices of some of the imported fertilizers sold to struggling farmers by private firms. It is not clear if it will carry on with those subsidies after Vanadzor-Khimprom makes its fertilizers available to the domestic agricultural sector.

      http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/24634192.html
      Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

      Comment


      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        RUSSIAN COMPANIES WISH TO BUY ARMENIA'S NATIONAL AIRLINE CORPORATION

        news.am
        July 03, 2012 | 14:17

        The Russian gazeta.ru website on Monday posted a large article on
        Russian companies' desire to purchase Armavia Airline Company, which
        is Armenia's national carrier. And it was even mentioned that the
        initial business deal price is US$ 55 million.

        To note, former Armenian MP Harutyun Pambukyan was co-owner of the
        Max Group Company. But according to most recent information, he left
        the company and now he conducts business in Moscow.

        And Pambukyan already made a formal offer to Armavia's owner
        Mikhail Baghdasarov, but neither Armavia nor Max Group confirm this
        information, gazeta.ru writes.
        Hayastan or Bust.

        Comment


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Armenia to produce own mining explosives instead of Turkish

          YEREVAN. - Aparaj Mining Company applied for a license on producing explosives in Armenia.

          The issue is included on the agenda of the Government seating scheduled for Thursday. The license will be given for unlimited time. To note, Aparaj Mining Company was founded in 2001 in Kajaran, Armenia. The explosives are to be used in the mining industry. Until now, explosives were imported from Turkey.

          http://news.am/eng/news/112732.html
          Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

          Comment


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
            RUSSIAN COMPANIES WISH TO BUY ARMENIA'S NATIONAL AIRLINE CORPORATION

            news.am
            July 03, 2012 | 14:17

            The Russian gazeta.ru website on Monday posted a large article on
            Russian companies' desire to purchase Armavia Airline Company, which
            is Armenia's national carrier. And it was even mentioned that the
            initial business deal price is US$ 55 million.

            To note, former Armenian MP Harutyun Pambukyan was co-owner of the
            Max Group Company. But according to most recent information, he left
            the company and now he conducts business in Moscow.

            And Pambukyan already made a formal offer to Armavia's owner
            Mikhail Baghdasarov, but neither Armavia nor Max Group confirm this
            information, gazeta.ru writes.
            Armenian national carrier refuses to buy second Sukhoi Superjet 100

            July 09, 2012 | 18:40

            YEREVAN. Armenian national air carrier Armavia refused to buy the second Sukhoi Superjet 100 plabe, the press secretary of the company Nana Avetisova told Interfax. Armavia did not explain the reasons, the agency says.

            Armavia was the first company to purchase the Russian-produced plane. The company purchased the first Sukhoi SuperJet 100 in 2011. Currently the Superjet is operated only by two air companies - Armavia and Aeroflot. According to Russian press, Aeroflot cannot operate 4 out of its 8 new aircrafts due to technical problems.

            A handover ceremony of the first Sukhoi Superjet-100 that arrived in Armenia was held at the Zvartnots international airport in Yerevan in April 2011.


            http://news.am/eng/news/112722.html
            <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

            Comment


            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              Does anyone know why Armavia's rates are so ridiculously expensive?
              A one way flight from Yerevan to Athens with Armavia costs the same as a roundtrip flight with the Georgian airline from Tiblisi to Athens
              <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

              Comment


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Airtravel has gotten crazy expencive now. Sending my wife and kid to hayastan cost me thousends of dollars and i plan on taking my son myself next year to and i am sure it will be even more expensive then. I think i am gona start saving up for that trip now.
                Originally posted by Mher View Post
                Does anyone know why Armavia's rates are so ridiculously expensive?
                A one way flight from Yerevan to Athens with Armavia costs the same as a roundtrip flight with the Georgian airline from Tiblisi to Athens
                Hayastan or Bust.

                Comment


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                  Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                  Airtravel has gotten crazy expencive now. Sending my wife and kid to hayastan cost me thousends of dollars and i plan on taking my son myself next year to and i am sure it will be even more expensive then. I think i am gona start saving up for that trip now.
                  yep
                  I plan on returning to Armenia next summer, and the first thing I have to do when I return to the states is start planning for how I am going to pay for that trip
                  <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

                  Comment


                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    Originally posted by Mher View Post
                    yep
                    I plan on returning to Armenia next summer, and the first thing I have to do when I return to the states is start planning for how I am going to pay for that trip
                    Estonian Air has cheap flights from europe to tiblisi. a flight from Stockholm for ex. goes for 150EU two ways. I plan on seeing tiblisi for a few days then catch a train to yerevan

                    Comment


                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      Exclusive: Iran looks to Armenia to skirt bank sanctions

                      By Louis Charbonneau

                      UNITED NATIONS | Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:30pm EDT

                      (Reuters) - With international sanctions squeezing Iran, the Islamic Republic is seeking to expand its banking foothold in the Caucasus nation of Armenia to make up for difficulties in countries it used to rely on to do business, according to diplomats and documents.

                      Iran's growing interest in its neighbor Armenia, a mountainous, landlocked country of about 3.3 million people, comes at a time of rising international isolation for Tehran and increasing scrutiny by Western governments and intelligence agencies of Iranian banking ties worldwide as they attempt to stifle the country's nuclear program.

                      The most recent example is British bank Standard Chartered, which has been in the spotlight due to U.S. charges that it hid from U.S. regulators and shareholders some $250 billion of transactions tied to Iran.

                      An expanded local-currency foothold in a neighbor like Armenia, a former Soviet republic which has close trade ties to Iran and is working hard to forge closer links to the European Union, could make it easier for Tehran to obfuscate payments to and from foreign clients and deceive Western intelligence agencies trying to prevent it from expanding its nuclear and missile programs.

                      Armenian officials denied illicit banking links to Iran. The country's central bank issued a press release in response to this article, stating that it requires all banks to scrutinize their transactions to avoid dubious financial exchanges.

                      "The Central Bank of Armenia will follow its supervision over the behavior and transactions of all financial institutions and their customers in ... Armenia, in order to safeguard its financial system from any destabilizing effects," it said.

                      While the four rounds of U.N. sanctions remain limited, with only two Iran banks blacklisted by the Security Council, the United States and European Union have implemented much tougher restrictions, sanctioning dozens of banks and other firms and making it increasingly difficult for Tehran to conduct business in U.S. dollars and euros.

                      A U.N. panel of experts that monitors compliance with the sanctions against Tehran recently submitted a report to the U.N. Security Council's Iran sanctions committee that concluded Iran was constantly searching for ways to skirt restrictions on its banking sector.

                      "One state bordering Iran informed the Panel of requests from Iran to open new financial institutions," the report said. "The requests were not pursued apparently because of that country's burdensome legislation."

                      Several U.N. diplomats familiar with the panel's work confirmed that the unnamed state was Armenia, where Iran already has banking ties.

                      Despite Armenia's denials of illegal banking arrangements, Iran has not given up trying to expand in the country, the diplomats said, and U.S. officials have repeatedly cautioned Armenian colleagues to tighten financial controls.

                      REPORTS AND DENIALS

                      Iran's trade with Armenia, including an oil pipeline that Armenian news reports say should be finished in 2014, requires some form of cross-border banking. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Iran's annual trade with Armenia is around $1 billion, according to Iranian news reports.

                      Engaging in transactions with Iranian banks is not a violation of international sanctions as long as it is not linked to Iran's nuclear or missile programs or companies or individuals under U.S., EU or U.N. sanctions.

                      Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and refuses to shut it down. It says the sanctions are illegal.

                      But Washington has made clear to governments around the world that trading with Iranian firms that are sanctioned by the United States could lead to a U.S. blacklisting.

                      A Western intelligence report shown to Reuters, and dated May 2012, said that Iran was searching for "convenient" locations to develop alternative banking relationships away from spy agencies and other international monitoring bodies. It said an expanded presence in Armenia was one of Iran's goals.

                      "The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has been operating for years to establish and develop concealed infrastructures to enable Iran to continue trading with foreign countries, particularly in countries convenient for Iranian activity, such as the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Turkey," the report said.

                      "The increasing pressure on the banks in some of these countries has forced CBI economists to seek financial alternatives in countries that do not work according to the dictates of the West," it said, naming Armenia as a target.

                      In addition to Turkey and UAE, diplomats say Iran has been trying to develop financial channels elsewhere to avoid sanctions, focusing on countries like Malaysia, China, India, Brazil and, according to a report in the New York Times last weekend, Iraq.

                      Iran has used Iraqi banks to move large amounts of cash into the international banking system, prompting private U.S. protests to Baghdad, the Times reported.

                      Regarding Armenia, the Western intelligence report cited Armenian bank ACBA Credit Agricole Bank, a full-service institution that does business with individuals and companies and had some $574 million in assets last year, as one of Iran's principal targets.

                      A Western U.N. diplomat who closely follows the sanctions on Tehran confirmed that ACBA was "a bank that has come up in connection with Iran." He declined to provide details of any potentially illicit ACBA transactions linked to Iran.

                      Ashot Osipyan, chairman of the Union of Armenia's Banks, said it was impossible ACBA had any ties with Iran. "Armenian banks are financing only Armenia's economy," he said.

                      ACBA Chief Executive Officer Stepan Gishian was similarly categorical in his denial of helping Iran skirt sanctions.

                      "We finance exclusively the economy of Armenia," he said. "We don't have any relationship with Iran. We never have, we don't now and furthermore we don't plan on becoming a channel for financing Iran. What you're saying is complete nonsense."

                      The central bank statement said that "banks in the Republic of Armenia, including 'ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank' CJSC, hold no correspondent accounts with banks and financial institutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran."

                      Washington recently raised its concerns with Armenian officials about the possibility that Iran could exploit Armenia to bypass sanctions. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed the issue with President Serzh Sargsyan during a June meeting in Yerevan, a senior State Department official said.

                      The precise content of the discussions and the outcome were unclear.

                      CLAMP DOWN

                      Diplomats and intelligence officials told Reuters that Turkey and the UAE remain Iran's principal banking connections, while China and India are becoming areas of concern as Tehran now finds it difficult to conduct transactions in U.S. dollars and euros. As a result, it has turned increasingly to doing business in less-traceable local currencies.

                      But Turkey and the UAE, they say, are not as welcoming these days. The two countries are under intense pressure from Washington and the European Union to clamp down on illicit Iranian commerce connected to a nuclear program that the Western powers and their allies suspect is for producing weapons - a charge Iran denies.

                      Another bank that has long concerned Western powers is the Armenian branch of Iran's Bank Mellat, which has been under U.S. sanctions since 2007. While Mellat is not under U.N. sanctions, the Security Council cited it as a problematic bank in the text of its fourth sanctions resolution, passed in June 2010.

                      "Over the last seven years, Bank Mellat has facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions for Iranian nuclear, missile, and defense entities," the resolution said.

                      Mellat is still functioning in Yerevan, though its activities have drastically decreased due to U.S. and EU sanctions, according to Arakel Meliksetyan, deputy head of the financial intelligence unit at Armenia's central bank.

                      The central bank statement said that Mellat's Armenian assets decreased more than 50 percent from $88 million to $40 million between December 31, 2010 and July 1, 2012.

                      Mellat is cut off from the U.S., European and other financial markets and has virtually no business with other Armenian banks, Meliksetyan said. Since it was disconnected from the SWIFT system earlier this year, Mellat Armenia is no longer able to send or receive international wire transfers, he added.

                      He said the bank's small customers were mainly Iranians doing business in Armenia, Armenians exporting to Iran, Iranians with Armenian backgrounds and students.

                      The Mellat Armenian branch's website (www.mellatbank.am) has photos of a brightly lit, ordinary-looking bank with the words "Accuracy, Courtesy, Efficiency" at the top. It lists two men with Iranian names as the general manager and deputy general manager and gives a P.O. box for an address.

                      Reuters contacted the bank for responses to questions about its activities. After initially agreeing to a face-to-face discussion, the officials said they wanted written questions and have not provided further comment.

                      Turkey was in a similar position to Armenia's once. Reuters reported in 2010 that Turkey was becoming a safe haven for Iranian banks. In response to heavy U.S. pressure to cut banking ties with Tehran, Western envoys say, Turkish banks have become much more cautious about doing business with Iranian clients.

                      U.S. concerns about Armenia's commitment to implementing sanctions against Iranian banks are not new, according to previously secret U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.

                      A May 2007 cable from the U.S. embassy in Yerevan, entitled "Armenia Slow To Implement Bank Sepah Asset Freeze," said that Sepah, an Iranian bank which has been under U.N. sanctions since March 2007, maintained correspondent accounts with the Armenian branch of Mellat in breach of U.N. restrictions.

                      Another cable from 2008 made clear Washington was still worried: "Poloff (Political Office) requested that the Armenian MFA (ministry of foreign affairs) advise the Central Bank of Armenia to employ extra vigilance in monitoring the financial transaction of the Iranian owned Bank Mellat in Yerevan."

                      (Additional reporting by Thomas Grove, Steve Gutterman and Nastassia Astrasheuskaya in Moscow, Andrew Quinn in Washington, Hasmik Mkrtchyan in Yerevan and Andrei Makhovsky in Minsk. Editing by Warren Strobel and Jim Loney)

                      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...87K05420120821
                      <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

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