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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • #61
    Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    IMF'S SEES THE GROWTH BOOM CONTINUING IN THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA, BUT HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR POLICY TIGHTENING TO DAMPEN INFLATIONARY PRESSURES

    ARKA
    Nov 9, 2007

    YEREVAN, November 9. /ARKA/. The International Monetary Fund's October
    2007 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia (REO)
    sees continued strong growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia, but
    highlights the need to tackle rising inflation.

    David Owen, Senior Advisor in the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia
    Department, presented the report's main findings for the region:
    "The Caucasus and Central Asia is one of the fastest growing regions
    in the world, with real GDP set to rise by an average of 13 percent
    this year. Both oil and gas exporters (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and
    Turkmenistan) and non-oil exporters (Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic,
    Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) are doing well.

    The region's strong performance reflects improved macroeconomic
    policies, reforms to improve the business environment, booming
    commodity exports, and large inflows of foreign direct investment
    and remittances.

    However, strong foreign exchange inflows combined with the recent
    surge in international food prices have resulted in a sharp uptick
    in inflation in recent months, except in Armenia, Owen said.

    According to him, Average annual inflation in the region increased
    to over 12 percent in September and is set to go higher before the
    end of the year.

    Even before the shock from higher food prices, inflation was rising
    steadily, as most central banks boosted domestic liquidity by
    purchasing foreign currency inflows, so as to limit the appreciation
    of their currencies, he said.

    Policy makers in the region could not have prevented the inflationary
    shock from higher food prices. But they should respond quickly
    to prevent this shock from passing through into other prices more
    generally.

    In most countries there is room to tighten monetary policies,
    by raising interest rates and reducing foreign exchange market
    intervention to allow more exchange rate appreciation. Plans in
    several countries to loosen fiscal policies by raising government
    spending should be put on hold, Owen said.

    According to him, Moderate policy tightening to dampen inflationary
    pressures should allow the boom in the region to continue.

    "While average growth in the region is likely to slow from this year's
    rapid pace, it is projected to remain in double digits in 2008--high
    enough to keep the region on a path of rising income per head and
    declining poverty," the IMF states.

    http://www.arka.am/eng/economy/2007/11/09/6931.html


    ..........


    THE MONETARY POLICY OF ARMENIA WITH THE FLEXIBLE EXCHANGE RATE HELPED TO AVOID THE VIOLENT GROWTH OF INFLATION, IMF STATES

    Mediamax
    Nov 8, 2007

    Yerevan, November 8 /Mediamax/. Armenia is the only country in the
    South Caucasus and Central Asia, which managed to avoid the violent
    growth of inflation.

    Mediamax reports that this is stated in the IMF report "Economy
    development prospects in the region of the Middle East and Central
    Asia".

    The document notes that the Caucasus and Central Asia belong to the
    number of regions with high speed of economic growth. In the course
    of the recent three years, it was estimated by two-digit numbers and
    this year it is expected to reach the average level of 13%.

    The speedily growing prices for oil have positive influence
    on the oil and gas exporter-states - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and
    Turkmenistan. "But the things are positive in other states as well,
    which have considerably less natural resources. As a result of reforms
    in Armenia and Georgia, the business atmosphere improved and the
    arrival of direct foreign investments accelerated", the IMF Senior
    Advisor of the Department of Middle East and Central Asia states
    David Owen said.

    At the same time, he stressed, there is tenseness showing up, related
    to the resumption of the growth of inflation.

    "Having decreased approximately from 15% in late 1990s to 5-7% by
    2004, the average yearly speed of inflation in the region at present
    is again estimated by a two-digit number. Under the influence of the
    latest external shock, caused by the rapidly growing international
    prices for foodstuffs, the average speed of inflation in September
    exceeded 12% and, most likely, will still increase by the end of
    the year. But even before this shock, the inflation was steadily
    increasing. It was stirred up by the stable demand and the growing
    liquidity, and the central banks in most of the states increased the
    offers of national currency for the purchase of the inflowing foreign
    currency to limit the consolidation of the rate of their currencies.

    Exception is Armenia, the monetary policy of which with a flexible
    exchange rate helped to preserve the inflation at about 5%", David
    Owen noted.

    http://www.armtown.com/news/en/azg/20071108/2007110802/
    What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.

    Comment


    • #62
      Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse


      The Development of Tourism in Armania


      [Besides its positive contribution to the growth of Armenia's economy, tourism may expose Armenia to the World and help "putting Armenia on the map," and history - i.e. exposure to it's history and past. Siamanto.]



      Development of the Program
      ARKA News Agency, Armenia
      Oct 5 2007


      Long-term program of tourism development to be elaborated in Armenia
      by the end of year



      YEREVAN, October 5. /ARKA/. A long-term program of tourism
      development will be elaborated and submitted for the government's
      approval by the end of this year, Armenian Minister of Trade and
      Economic Development Nerses Yeritsian said at his meeting with the
      students of the Armenian State Economic University.

      According to him, the staff of the ministry currently works over the
      development of the program in certain target directions together with
      the representatives of private sector and public organizations.

      The program is to be implemented during 30 years, which is sufficient
      time for the development of the required infrastructures and real
      estate fund, Yeritsian said.

      He pointed out that a cluster approach is applied in elaboration of
      the document, and the efficiency of the measures will be assessed
      based on two main indicators - number of tourists and duration of
      their stay in the country. These two indicators will demonstrate both
      the effectiveness of the measures and the level of tourism
      development in Armenia, the Minister said.

      According to Armenia's National Statistical Service, the number of
      tourists visited Armenia in January-June 2007 increased 36.3% as
      compared with the same period of 2006 and reached 181,200 people
      against 132,900 people in January-June 2006. N.V. -0 -


      http://www.arka.am/eng/tourism/2007/10/05/6478.html
      NEW CONCEPT ON DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM IN ARMENIA TO BE SUBMITTED TO GOVERNMENT BY LATE 2007

      Noyan Tapan
      Oct 25, 2007

      YEREVAN, OCTOBER 25, NOYAN TAPAN. The RA Ministry of Trade and Economic
      Development is currently developing a new long-term (for 20-30 years)
      concept on tourism development, which will be submitted to the
      government for discussion by late 2007. The head of the ministry's
      tourism department Mekhak Apresian told NT correspondent that a
      working group has been set up.

      It is composed of representatives of all sides interested, including
      the private sector and international organizations.

      The department head said that all tasks of the concept, which was
      adopted by the government as long ago as 2000, are being carried out
      successfully. In particular, taking into consideration the available
      resources and the development prospects of tourism in Armenia, the
      legal field has been improved, as well as measures aimed at solving
      the sector's problems have been defined and implemented.

      In the words of M. Apresian, "in order to keep pace with global
      dynamic developments in the tourism sector and become competitive,
      we should revise and revalue our possibilities and have a long-term
      and pretentious strategy".

      http://www.nt.am/





      Implementation of the Program
      Armenia is forming brand of tourism country

      02/08/2007 20:58


      YEREVAN, August 2. /ARKA/. Armenia is occupied with forming a brand of a tourism country, said Head of Tourism Department of the RA Ministry of Trade and Economic Development Mehkak Apresyan.

      He said that the work over tourism image of the country began with the broadcast of the advertisement-information trailer about Armenia on TV channels CNN and EuroNews in March. The trailers should form Armenia’s image as an attractive tourism country and implement investments.

      “The task is to provide Armenia’s tourism competitiveness by presenting оwn attractiveness. Our country has potential and can demonstrate its unique originality, and we try to use out cultural and historical heritage and make it our brand, moreover, Armenia is the first country who adopted Christianity,” Apresyan said.

      He pointed out that Armenia has rich history, wonderful nature and, the most important thing – national peculiarities.

      In the first half-year of 2007, the number of tourists to Armenia increased by 36% as compared to the same period in 2006 and made 181.2ths people.

      According to the forecasts of the RA Ministry of Trade and Economic Development, in 2007 the number of tourists visiting Armenia will make
      450ths, which will provide 20% rise as compared to the last year.

      As compared to the official statistics, starting from 2001 the average annual growth of tourists visiting Armenia has made 25%. L.M.


      http://www.arka.am/eng/tourism/2007/08/02/3877.html
      ARMENIA AND GEORGIA TO REPRESENT TRANSCAUCASIA FOR FIRST TIME IN CBI PAVILION AT INTERNATIONAL TOURISM EXHIBITION IN URECHT ON JANUARY 9-13

      Noyan Tapan
      Oct 23, 2007

      YEREVAN, OCTOBER 23, NOYAN TAPAN. The Armenian Tourism Development
      Agency (ATDA) has signed a 8-year cooperation agreement with the
      Dutch organization CBI (Centrum tot Bevordering van de Import uit
      ontwikkelingsladen) adjunct to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
      the Netherlands. Gohar Mirzoyan, ATDA coordinator of exhibitions,
      told NT correspondent that under this agreement, Armenia together
      with Georgia will have an opportunity to represent Transcaucasia in
      CBI pavilions at international tourist exhibitions. In her words,
      CBI representatives organized seminars and trainings for 13 Armenian
      and Georgian tour operators in Armenia in the summer of 2007.

      G. Mirzoyan said that ATDA and 4 Armenian tourist companies will
      display information about Armenia for the first time in a CBI pavilion
      during the annual international tourism exhibition to be held in the
      Dutch city of Utrecht in January 2008. "Participation in this and other
      exhibitions in this format may prove much more beneficial to Armenia
      as potential partners always give preference to countries and tourist
      companies presented in the pavilion of this famous organization,"
      ATDA representative noted.

      According to her, tourist companies from 100 countries will take
      part in the exhibition to be held in Utrecht on January 9-13. Besides
      Armenia, representatives of 24 countries will be included in CBI.


      http://www.nt.am/
      "COUNTRY OF SPEAKING STONES" EXHIBITION TO CONTINUE

      Panorama.am
      20:37 03/11/2007

      The seventh showing of the "Country of Speaking Stones" tourism
      exhibition will continue. In this year's exhibition, 48 organizations
      are participating, of whom 20-30% are from the regions of Armenia. The
      exhibition, which kicked off on November 2, will continue until
      November 4.

      A. Petrosyan, vice-minister of trade and economic development, said
      it was important that the exhibition move to the distant provinces of
      Armenia. "We have had great successes in these areas. This growth is
      due to realized programs sponsored by the government and our ministry,
      which stimulate tourism in these regions," the vice-minister said.

      Present at opening ceremonies was tourism development director Nina
      Hovnanian-Aleksandryan, said that the participation of representatives
      from the provinces and from neighboring countries was a positive sign.

      "If we work hard, and cooperate with each other, we will stimulate
      the development of the tourism industry," she said.

      We point out that the exhibition has the purpose of stimulating local
      and foreign tourism. In separate pavilions, tourism agencies from
      the regions of Armenia, as well as Karabakh, will be presented, not
      to mention from Georgia and Adjaria. The exhibition was organized by
      the local office of ASTA (American Union of Travel Agencies), AATA
      (Armenian Union of Travel Agencies), and ADTA (Armenian Agency of
      Tourism Development). The exhibition has taken place since 2000.

      http://www.panorama.am/en/economy/2007/11/03/turizm/






      Statistical Data
      1 MLN TOURISTS TO VISIT ARMENIA IN 5-7 YEARS

      ARKA News Agency
      Nov 23 2007
      Armenia

      YEREVAN, November 23. /ARKA/. One million tourists will visit
      Armenia in 5-7 years, according to RA Minister of Trade and Economic
      Development Nerses Yeritsyan. "Tourism in Armenia grows by 20-25%
      annually. This tendency will continue in 2008 as well," the Minister
      said.

      The Ministry of Trade is working on a new tourism development program
      which will be submitted to the RA Government by late 2007, according
      to Yeritsyan.

      AMD 250mln ($800,000) will be allocated for tourism development in
      2008, including ads on CNN and EuroNews. According to the Mister,
      local sights will be beautified. 450,000 tourists will visit Armenia
      by late 2007, the RA Ministry of Trade reports. This will secure 20%
      growth of the sphere.

      318,000 tourists visited Armenia in 2005 against 381,000 in 2006.

      Statistics show that a foreign tourist spends about $1,300-$1,400
      for a week in Armenia (excluding the ticket price).

      http://www.arka.am/eng/tourism/2007/11/23/7128.html
      Number of tourists visiting Armenia in January-September increases 33.8%

      03/12/2007 18:11

      YEREVAN, December 3. /ARKA/. The number of tourists visiting Armenia in January-September increased 33.8% and reached 364,400 people against 272,400 people in the same period of the last year, the country’s National Statistical Service reported.

      A considerable part of these tourists (87.9% or 232,400 people) lived at their relatives’ places or in rented apartments. The number of these tourists increased 37.9% in the period.

      Only a small part of the tourists (12.1% or 43,900 people) were accommodated in hotels. The increase in this category of tourists has been 9.8% as compared with January-September 2006. 42 hotels in Armenia provide accommodation for foreign tourists.

      According to the statistics, tourism organizations assisted 8,300 Armenian tourists traveling outside Armenia, which is a 43.6% increase in number over the period. Others – 350,200 people – traveled outside Armenia on their own (38.7% increase).

      http://www.arka.am/eng/tourism/2007/12/03/7246.html
      Last edited by Siamanto; 12-06-2007, 06:52 PM.
      What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        yes tourism has been increasing in Armenia when I visited last summer, I did notice a good amount of tourists especially from Europe, hiking the mountains. dont expect much tourism from the us, but from europe is what will make the majority of our tourism
        Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
        ---
        "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

        Comment


        • #64
          Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Sad thing is imo that Armenians in Armenia would welcome with open arms everyone EXCEPT mixed Armenians. I guess I understand ...

          I have a friend Danny Soder who went to Armenia to take photos of Armenian churches (I own two 32"x48" silver screened prints from his voyages) because that's what he does. Anyway when he was there he really got immersed in the culture and talked about how awesome the Armenian ppl were and how much he loved them. He did mention however that he had an understanding that he was more welcome there than anyone from the Diaspora would ever be.

          Makes complete sense! When the genocide occurred Armenians had to do what they had to to live, right? Now it's all over we should return home right?

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            Originally posted by Mos View Post
            yes tourism has been increasing in Armenia when I visited last summer, I did notice a good amount of tourists especially from Europe, hiking the mountains. dont expect much tourism from the us, but from europe is what will make the majority of our tourism
            Lets hope it does not develop into sex tourism like in Thailand.
            "For all evils there are two remedies -- time and silence."

            Comment


            • #66
              Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              The Development of Nuclear Energy in Armania



              The Idea...
              ARMENIA TO BUILD NEW REACTOR AT ITS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

              ITAR-TASS
              Oct 24 2007
              Russia

              YEREVAN, October 24 (Itar-Tass) -- Armenia has made a decision to
              build a new unit at the operating nuclear power plant to replace the
              one to be decommissioned, Energy Minister Armen Movsesyan said.

              "An alternative to the nuclear power plant in Armenia could be
              only a new nuclear unit that will meet current safety and security
              requirements," the minister said in an interview with the Voice of
              Armenia newspaper on Wednesday.

              The decision to build a new reactor was also prompted by the fact
              that the country has commercial reserves of uranium, Movsesyan said.


              "While it was economically unprofitable to produce this radioactive
              material before because of the low prices, now the situation has
              changed," he said. "So Armenia will have its own energy supply and
              its own nuclear reactor."

              "Armenia has no goal of introducing enrichment technology in the
              country. Especially since our reserves may not be big enough to enrich
              uranium inside the country," he said.

              "Preliminary estimates show that Armenia has enough uranium reserves
              to meet the needs of its own nuclear power plant and export part of
              them," the minister said.

              In his view, the best solution would be to build a 1,000 megawatt
              power unit since the republic's electricity needs grow at about 4
              percent a year.

              In determining the capacity of the new reactor, the government is
              taking into account not only internal needs of the republic but also
              regional energy problems, he added.

              "A 1,000 megawatt power unit will be able not only to meet the needs
              of Armenia and reduce the country's dependence on organic energy [gas,
              oil, etc.] considerably, but will also have certain energy importance
              in the region," Movsesyan said.

              Armenia "will stop the operating nuclear reactor only when and if
              it obtains alternative generating capacities that match it," the
              minister said.

              "When we speak about alternative capacities, we mean not only
              physical parameters, i.e. the volume of electricity generation,
              but also economic ones, i.e. its cost for the population," he said.

              "The European Union is seeking to stop the reactor as soon as
              possible. But since the reactor's service life ends in 2016 and we
              have no replacement for it at the moment, we cannot announce its
              decommissioning," the minister said.

              "If we build a new reactor sooner, the operating one may be stopped
              before that date," he added.

              "At any rate, we are clearly and openly showing the world our readiness
              to move in parallel towards the decommissioning of the operating
              reactor at the nuclear power plant and replacing it with a new,
              more modern, effective and safe one," Movsesyan said.

              In his words, the development of a feasibility study for building a
              new reactor at the Armenian nuclear power plant is underway with the
              assistance of foreign specialists. This work will be completed within
              1-2 years. The document will "substantiate the optimal scenario for
              us", the minister said, "from the optimal capacity of the reactor,
              technology and equipment, to communications, infrastructure and
              seismic characteristics."

              He did not rule out that the Armenian nuclear power plant may use of
              a Russian, Canadian, American, European or Japanese reactor, or it may
              install a hybrid, as Bulgaria did, using a Russian reactor but European
              electrical machines and mechanisms, and the American safety system.

              "We hope that individual countries, private and/or state companies,
              international organisations or their consortium will be able to form
              a financial offer that is necessary for the construction of a new
              reactor at the Armenian nuclear power plant," Movsesyan said.

              The European Union insists that the operating reactor at the Armenian
              nuclear power plant be stopped. "But we say, create conditions where
              we could get access to long-term and low-interest (cheap) credits,
              and we will solve all our problems," he said.

              http://www.gab-ibn.com/IMG/pdf/AR13-...ower_Plant.pdf




              A Fundamental Reason: Armenia's Uranium Reserves...
              Russia & CIS Business and Financial Newswire
              November 29, 2007 Thursday 5:03 PM MSK


              Armenia to join international uranium enrichment center in Angarsk


              Armenia has decided to join the Russian-Kazakh agreement on the
              establishment of an international uranium enrichment center in
              Angarsk in the Irkutsk region, the Armenian government said.

              A document on an additional survey of Armenian uranium deposits will
              be drafted soon.

              According to the preliminary reports, Armenia has no less than 30,000
              tonnes of uranium. An additional survey may increase the size of
              these reserves by 1.5-2 times.


              Russia and Kazakhstan signed the agreement in Astana in early May.

              Federal Atomic Energy Agency Director Sergei Kiriyenko said that the
              center would begin operations as soon as a third participant joined
              the project.

              Ukraine is also considering the possibility of joining the project,
              Kiriyenko said.


              http://groong.usc.edu/news/msg212867.html



              The Project...
              U.S. MOVES TO HELP ARMENIA BUILD NEW NUCLEAR PLANT
              By Emil Danielyan

              Eurasia Daily Monitor, DC
              Nov 28 2007

              The United States has voiced support for the ambitious idea of
              building a new nuclear power station in Armenia in place of an aging
              Soviet-era facility, boosting the chances of its realization in the
              near future. Moreover, the U.S. government announced last week that it
              will finance the first preliminary feasibility study on the project,
              to be launched early next year.

              The development came amid the unfolding preparations for the closure
              of the nuclear plant at Metsamor, some 30 kilometers (19 miles) west
              of the capital, Yerevan. The Armenian authorities have pledged to
              shut down its sole functioning reactor by 2016 after years of pressure
              from the United States and the European Union, which consider it to be
              inherently unsafe. The EU, in particular, had classified the VVER 440
              Model V230 light water-cooled reactor, which currently generates about
              40% of Armenia's electricity, into the "oldest and least reliable"
              category of all 66 Soviet reactors built in Eastern Europe and the
              former USSR.

              Metsamor had two such reactors when it began operating at full
              capacity in 1980. They both were brought to a halt shortly after the
              catastrophic 1988 earthquake that devastated much of northwestern
              Armenia. Dismissing Western and local environmentalists' concerns,
              the country's first post-communist government reactivated one of the
              reactors in 1995 to end a severe energy crisis caused by the war with
              Azerbaijan and broader turmoil in the region. The United States and
              the EU had no choice but to help Yerevan boost the plant's safety.

              They have each spent tens of millions of dollars upgrading its
              equipment and financing subsequent safety measures. The plant has
              also been regularly and closely inspected by the International Atomic
              Energy Agency (IAEA).

              The Armenian government has said all along that Metsamor will be
              decommissioned only when it finds an alternative source of inexpensive
              energy. That alternative, according to Yerevan, is a new nuclear plant
              meeting modern safety standards. The administration of President
              Robert Kocharian underlined the seriousness of its intentions in
              early 2006 when it pushed through parliament legislation allowing
              foreign ownership of Armenian nuclear facilities. The move was aimed
              at attracting foreign investors, as at least $1 billion is needed
              for the new plant's construction. The government acknowledges that
              it is too cash-strapped to foot the bill.

              The Russian government and energy companies promptly showed interest in
              the project. The issue was high on the agenda of an April 2007 visit to
              Yerevan by Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's Federal Agency on Atomic
              Energy (Rosatom). News emerged shortly afterward that the Armenian and
              Russian governments have formed a joint task force looking into the
              matter. And on October 25 Russia's state-owned Atomstroyexport company
              revealed through its vice-chairman, Alexander Glukhov, that it is
              also in talks with Armenian energy officials (Itar-Tass, October 25).

              Significantly, the United States indicated throughout 2006 and this
              year that it is ready, in principle, to assist Armenia in replacing
              Metsamor with a new plant. Washington went further on November 21,
              pledging to provide $2 million in funding for preliminary research
              that will precede in-depth feasibility studies for a new nuclear
              power generation unit as well as an assessment of its likely impact
              on the environment.

              In a statement issued after the signing of a relevant memorandum of
              cooperation by Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian and the U.S.

              charge d'affaires in Yerevan, Joseph Pennington, the U.S. Agency for
              International Development announced, "The results of these studies
              will be used by the Armenian government to choose the best technical
              solutions and project logistics. They will also serve as a basis for
              negotiations with potential suppliers and international financing
              institutions."

              In Pennington's words, the United States supports construction of
              a new nuclear plant "not only to improve Armenia's energy security
              but also because of continuing concerns regarding the safety of the
              existing nuclear plant." Furthermore, "We look forward to the rapid
              replacement of the Metsamor facility with a more modern and safer
              plant," the diplomat said at the signing ceremony (RFE/RL Armenia
              Report, November 21).

              U.S. support for the Armenian nuclear project is quite interesting,
              given the murky prospects for resolution of the Karabakh conflict
              and the accompanying risk of a renewed Armenian-Azerbaijani war,
              which could grow in the coming years. Washington appears to have
              arrived at the conclusion that landlocked and resource-poor Armenia
              has little choice but to continue to heavily rely on nuclear energy.

              The project should be highly beneficial for Armenia. With a planned
              capacity of 1,000 megawatts, the new Armenian reactor would be more
              than twice as powerful as the existing one and would fully meet
              the country's electricity needs at a considerably lower cost. That
              would, in turn, ease its heavy dependence on Russian natural gas,
              which accounts for another 40% of Armenian electricity production,
              and reduce Iran's significance for Armenia's energy security. The
              Islamic Republic plans to supply gas to Armenia through a pipeline
              that is due to be fully constructed by the end of next year.

              According to Energy Minister Movsisian, work on the new nuclear plant
              will likely take five years and could be completed even before 2016
              (Hayastani Hanrapetutyun, November 22). The key question of who
              will finance it remains unanswered, however. While the Russians
              are interested in designing and building the plant, they will by no
              means make the required investments. U.S. financial support for the
              construction work is even less likely. As Pennington pointed out,
              the U.S. government is only ready to help the Armenians find foreign
              (presumably Western) investors.

              http://www.sott.net/articles/show/14...-nuclear-plant

              RIA Novosti, Russia
              November 29, 2007


              Armenia to join Russian international uranium enrichment center


              YEREVAN, November 29 (RIA Novosti) - Armenia's government has
              approved a plan to join an international uranium enrichment center in
              Russia, the government's press service said on Thursday.

              The center, part of Moscow's non-proliferation initiative to create a
              network of enrichment centers under the UN nuclear watchdog's
              supervision, will be based at a chemical plant in Angarsk, Siberia.
              The center will also be responsible for the disposal of nuclear
              waste.

              "At its Thursday meeting, the government of Armenia endorsed a
              proposal to join an agreement between the governments of Russia and
              Kazakhstan on the establishment of an International Uranium
              Enrichment Center," it said.

              Russia had previously said it would grant any country in the world
              the use of the future center.

              Russia and its ex-Soviet neighbor Kazakhstan, which holds 15% of the
              world's uranium reserves, signed an agreement in October 2006 to
              establish their first joint venture to enrich uranium, intended to
              begin in 2013.

              Ukraine's Fuel and Energy Ministry said in June that the country
              intended to join the project in the near future.

              Russian President Vladimir Putin first raised the idea of joint
              nuclear enrichment centers early last year, in a bid to defuse
              tension over Iran's controversial nuclear program. The president said
              the centers would give countries transparent access to civilian
              nuclear technology without provoking international fears that
              enriched uranium could be used for covert weapons programs.

              http://en.rian.ru/world/20071129/90130653.html
              Last edited by Siamanto; 12-06-2007, 08:04 PM.
              What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Financial Mirror, Cyprus
                Dec 1 2007


                Moody's maintains stable outlook on Armenia, despite country weaknesses

                01/12/2007

                In its annual report on Armenia, Moody's Investors Service said its
                Ba2 rating for local and foreign currency debt obligations and stable
                outlook balances the low debt burden of the government and economy as
                a whole against the country's weak institutional capacity and modest
                level of economic development.

                The government bond ratings and Moody's assessment of a low risk of a
                payments moratorium in the event of a government bond default serve
                as the basis of Armenia's Baa3 foreign currency country ceiling for
                bonds.

                "While Armenia's debt burden compares well with similarly rated
                countries, as a relatively poor nation in the process of
                transitioning to a market-based economy, Armenia's institutions are
                still relatively undeveloped," said Moody's Assistant Vice President
                Joan Feldbaum-Vidra, author of the report.

                She said Armenia's general government debt burden -- at about 17% of
                GDP and falling -- compares favorably with other Ba2-rated countries.
                The terms of its debt are also very comfortable relative to its
                peers, with 90% of the total owed to multilaterals and having been
                procured on concessional terms.

                "Another reflection of Armenia's nascent institutional maturity is
                the modest revenue take of the government, which is among the lowest
                of all CIS countries with taxes to GDP of only 15%," said
                Feldbaum-Vidra. "The government is committed to raising this ratio to
                help reduce poverty by improving tax collection and broadening the
                revenue base."

                She said Armenia's large expatriate community provides an important
                boost to growth and liquidity. Increased business and consumer
                confidence domestically plus robust conditions in Russia, the
                principal source for remittances from the estimated
                eight-million-strong Armenian Diaspora, have attracted substantially
                more foreign exchange inflows.

                "Double-digit growth continues, at one of the fastest rates
                registered in the world, reflecting the economy's small size," said
                Feldbaum-Vidra.

                "The government's fiscal and monetary policies are prudent."

                Still, she said, links between Armenia's political class and the
                business elite foster entrenched vested interests, while the level of
                financial intermediation remains low. There are also geopolitical
                uncertainties linked to the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.


                http://www.financialmirror.com/more_...34&nt=Business


                ........

                MOODY'S EXAGGERATES ECONOMIC RISKS FOR ARMENIA, A WELL-KNOWN ECONOMIST THINKS

                2007-12-04 16:43:00

                ArmInfo. "I don't share the basic conclusions of Moody's agency on
                the economic risks in Armenia in 2008", economist Eduard Aghajanov
                said during his talk with ArmInfo correspondent.

                According to him, even if USA's economy devolves into a recession,
                no substantial changes in the Armenian population's incomes may
                be observed.

                "No more than 10% of transfers to Armenia are from the USA, the
                main financial flows come from Russia", the expert emphasized. USA's
                possible economic downturn may not influence the Armenian financial
                system either, E. Agajanov assured, emphasizing that the banking
                sector of Armenia is not integrated with American financial system. The
                economist completely ruled out reduction of transfers from Russia. He
                is confident in the ability of the Russian economy to stand the
                dramatic drop of prices of energy products.

                E. Agajanov motivated his opinion by the fact that RF's reserve funds
                exceeded 460bln USD, and the price of oil is fixed with a plentiful
                supply in the 2008 budget-61USD (more than one and a half times
                lower than today's price). At the same time, E. Agajanov considers
                the inflation rate predicted by Moody's for 2008 unreal. "The fact
                that Moody's predicted inflation increase from 4% to 4,5% shows
                that the agency's specialists have a bad idea of Armenia's economy",
                Agajanov thinks.

                He noted that in 2003, when the growth in prices of grain and energy
                resources was much more moderate, the inflation in Armenia made up 8%.

                According to his estimations, by the end of 2007 the real inflation in
                the country will total 10%. Agajanov admits the forecast of Moody's
                about decrease of the constructions sector's share in Armenia's
                economy in 2008.

                However, unlike the Moody's experts, he thinks that such course
                of events is natural. "The construction sector in any country is
                saturated in a certain period, but there are no grounds to speak of
                its instability", the economist said.

                The 2% budget deficit, for which the Armenian government was praised
                by the Moody's, causes no positive emotions for Agajanov. "The
                superfluously tough financial policy is not a cause for admiration",
                he thinks. Agajanov said that even such large economies of the world,
                as the German, French and Italian ones cannot restrain the budget
                deficit within 3% and one shouldn't be "a greater Catholic than the
                Pope" in this matter.

                The only thesis in the Moody's report that Agajanov shares
                unconditionally concerns the necessity of a fight against corruption
                and monopolism as a pledge of maintenance of long-term and consistent
                economy growth rates.


                http://groong.usc.edu/news/msg213315.html
                What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                  Armenia's Nascent Banking Sector



                  2007 IS YEAR OF CHANGES IN ARMENIA IN TERMS OF ATTRACTING BANKING INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS

                  Noyan Tapan
                  Nov 21, 2007

                  YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 21, NOYAN TAPAN. The banking system assets/GDP
                  ratio is expected to make 22%, while the credits/GDP ratio - 12.7%
                  in late 2007.

                  According to the chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA)
                  Tigran Sargsian, these indices show that the level of financial
                  intermediation is low in Armenia as the banks's assets/GDP ratio must
                  make at least 40%.

                  Besides, the price margin of resources placed in and attracted to
                  Armenia's banking system makes 12-15% which is one of the highest in
                  the world. This bears evidence of a low level of competition in the
                  country's banking system.

                  T. Sargsian said that henceforth the development of the Armenia's
                  banking system will proceed in accordance with "Basel 2" principles:
                  the CBA will supervise not the economic norms of the commercial banks
                  but the use of the risk management systems in the banks, which will
                  contribute to flexibility of the banking system. Importance is also
                  attached to development of the secondary mortgage market in Armenia
                  and attraction of foreign institutional investors, which will help
                  increase the level of financial intermediation.

                  In the opinion of the CBA chairman, 2007 is a year of changes in
                  terms of attracting institutional investors as this year 9 foreign
                  banks have submitted bids for operating in Armenia to the CBA. The
                  bids of 5 banks have been accepted (bids of Byblosbank (Lebanon),
                  Troyka Dialog and Gazprombank (Russia), Prokreditbank (Germany) and
                  Postbank (the Netherlands). Another three big foreign banks (Societe
                  Generale (France), Raiffeisenbank (Austrai) and a Lebanese bank)
                  have expressed their intention to operate in Armenia.

                  At the same time, in the words of T. Sargsian, some infrastructures
                  promoting financial intermediation have been created in Armenia,
                  including the DVP (delivery versus payment) system that allows to
                  make instant payments for bonds and is the best in the CIS. The other
                  infrastructure is the Deposit Guaranteeing Fund which guarantees that
                  450 thousand depositors of Armenian banks will be refunded 2 million
                  drams (about 6 thousand USD) in case of bankruptcy of their bank. The
                  amount of guaranteed money is calculated based on per capita GDP
                  and increases year by year. He also said that the CBA has developed
                  a draft law on banking ombudsman, using the UK's experience of this
                  institution. The law is expected to be passed in 2008.

                  Special importance is also attached to the work of the FDGS system of
                  gross calculations in the real time regime which provides commercial
                  banks with the opportunity to make on-line payments in the territory
                  of Armenia and the NKR. The Armenian commercial banks - participants
                  of the ArCa (Armenian Card) system, which a full and equal member of
                  Visa and Europay International Sa-MasterCard, have the opportunity
                  to issue and service plastic cards of the indicated systems.

                  The CBA chairman stated that thanks to the inclusion of 500 thousand
                  credit histories in the private Credit Bureau and 350 thousand credit
                  histories in the CBA Credit Register, the repayment of credits makes
                  98% in Armenia, which is among the highest ones in the world.


                  http://www.nt.am/news.php?p=0&c=0&t=...angID=1#106667

                  Global Insight
                  October 25, 2007

                  Armenia Reports on Q3 Banking Sector Development

                  by Venla Sipila


                  Total assets in the Armenian banking system at the end of September
                  amounted to some 664 billion dram (US$2 billion), marking growth of
                  6.3% over the third quarter of 2007, ARKA News reports on a review by
                  the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA). In addition, the review showed
                  that total credits issued by the banking system to Armenian
                  residents' increased by 20.6% during July-September, reaching over
                  374 billion dram. Specifically, mortgages rose by 20.8% over the
                  third quarter, while consumer credits increased by 17.7%. Further, it
                  was reported that Armenian banks' total capital increased by 5.8%
                  during the third quarter, reaching around 148 billion dram at the end
                  of September. Growth of banks' and other financial institutions'
                  liabilities was reported at 0.7% for the third quarter, which brought
                  the total value to some 29.8 billion dram. The CBA review also
                  reports that 21 banks were operating in Armenia as of 30 September.

                  Significance:Credit growth is a necessary part of financial deepening
                  of a transition economy, but managing the risks associated with it at
                  times of rapid economic expansion presents a challenging combination
                  of tasks for the CBA. The domestic banking sector is developing at
                  the same time as strong workers remittance and FDI inflows keep
                  foreign currency inflows high, and inflation is under upward pressure
                  from both demand and cost sides. The CBA has shown determination in
                  implementing its inflation targeting policy, and its official
                  near-term inflation targets still seems within reach, even though it
                  is important that further policy interest rate hikes are presented
                  should inflation pressure further increase. This, further, will
                  necessitate additional dram appreciation, which may threaten
                  attractiveness of dram-nominated deposits. Thus, while the CBA has
                  shown competence in implementing its monetary and exchange rate
                  policy, the tasks at hand will form a challenging combination for
                  some time to come.


                  http://www.globalinsight.com/
                  http://groong.usc.edu/news/msg208660.html


                  20 COMMERCIAL BANKS OF ARMENIAN IN LIST OF 1000 BIGGEST TAX PAYERS

                  ARKA News Agency, Armenia
                  Oct 30 2007

                  YEREVAN, October 30. /ARKA/. As a result of January-September 2007,
                  Armenia's 20 commercial banks entered the list of 1000 biggest tax
                  payers by having paid AMD 6.9bln to the state budget against 19 banks
                  having paid AMD 5.5bln in the same period in 2006.

                  According to the list published by the RA State Tax Inspection, 92.05%
                  or AMD 6.4bln fell to direct taxes. 2.6% of the total volume of taxes
                  fell to these banks.

                  According to the Tax Inspection data, among the first 100 tax payers
                  were: "HSBC Bank Armenia" (AMD 1.2bln), ACBA Credit-Agricole Bank
                  (AMD 807.4mln), Ardshininvestbank (AMD 688.2mln), Armeconombank
                  (AMD 688.2mln), Converse Bank (AMD 665.6mln), VTB Bank (Armenia)
                  (AMD 564.5mln) and Unibank (AMD 352.5mln).

                  Among 1000 tax payers also are: "Anelik Bank," "Inecobank,"
                  "Mellat Bank," "Areximbank," "Armbusinessbank," "Prometey Bank,"
                  "Armimpexbank," "BTA Investbank," "ITB International Trade Bank,"
                  International Investment Bank, "ArmSwissbank," "Ararat Bank,"
                  "Cascade Bank," and Armenian Development Bank.

                  Seven credits organizations entered the list: "Aregak" (AMD 170.2mln),
                  "Finca" (AMD 110.7mln), "Express-Credit" (AMD 72.4mln), "Norvik"
                  (AMD 72.2mln), "ACBA Leasing" (AMD 67.7mln), "SEF International"
                  (AMD 58.6mln), "Cascade Credit" (AMD 36.5mln), as well as the national
                  payment system "Armenian Card" (AMD 84.1mln).

                  In total 1000 biggest tax payers of Armenia transferred AMD 262.6bln
                  to the Armenian state budget in January-September 2007. ($1 - AMD
                  324.78).

                  http://www.arka.am/eng/banks/2007/10/30/6806.html


                  SKILLED SPECIALISTS WORK IN ARMENIAN BANKING SECTOR

                  ARKA News Agency
                  Nov 22 2007
                  Armenia

                  YEREVAN, November 22. /ARKA/. Skilled specialists work in Armenian
                  banking sector, Valery Ovsyannikov, general director and chairman of
                  directorial board of VTB Bank (Armenia), said Thursday during Banking
                  Worker Day celebration in Yerevan.

                  "Despite the fact that Armenian banking system is relatively young, it
                  has reached a visible success for a short term. This shows that banking
                  area's employees deserve to mark their professional holiday", he said.

                  Ovsyannikov congratulated banking workers on their holiday and wished
                  them sound health, success, welfare and also wished prosperity to
                  Armenian banking system.

                  "We want our employees to keep working for the banking system and the
                  country prosperity in behalf of our clients and shareholders", he said.

                  Over 900 people are working now in VTB Bank (Armenia). This is the
                  second biggest employer among Armenian banks.

                  21 commercial banks with 318 branches function in the country. 6498
                  people worked in Armenian commercial banks by September 30, 2007
                  against 5512 by the same date of the previous year. VTB Bank (Armenia),
                  former Armenian Savings Bank, was founded in 1923.

                  The bank was a part of the Soviet Union's Savings Bank before 1993
                  and then was transformed into a specialized savings bank of Armenia.

                  In 2001, it was privatized as Armenian Savings Bank through a direct
                  sale to ARCH Limited (Bahamas) and ĚIKA Armenia Trading.

                  In April 2004, Russian Vneshtorgbank bought 70+1 share of Armenian
                  Savings Bank.

                  In July 2007, the Russian bank became the sole owner of VTB Bank
                  (Armenia).

                  Total capital of VTB Bank (Armenia) amounted to AMD 10 billion by
                  late September 2007, total assets AMD 45.9bln, balance profit AMD
                  1.99bln and then profit gained over the period between January and
                  September 2007 totalled AMD 660.4 million. ($1 = AMD 316.43).


                  http://www.arka.am/eng/banks/2007/11/22/7114.html
                  What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    FIRST CAREER CENTER ON TOURISM TO BE LAUNCHED IN ARMENIA

                    ARKA News Agency, Armenia
                    Dec 4 2007

                    YEREVAN, December 4. /ARKA/. The first carrier center on tourism -
                    "Tourism Bridge" - is to be launched in the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic)
                    University in Armenia on December 5. The center is established
                    in cooperation with USAID "Competitive Armenian Private Sector"
                    (CAPS) project.

                    The center will to provide professional services to students and
                    alumni of tourism departments of the University and other educational
                    institutions, the Press Service of USAID/CAPS reported.

                    Every year about 250 graduates of tourism departments faces the problem
                    of employment mainly due to lack of information about vacancies and
                    inadequacy of their skills with the market demands, says the press
                    release.

                    Students and graduates registered in the center will have better
                    chances to find jobs, receive information about existing vacancies
                    and have trainings on their specializations. The center will also
                    facilitate contacts between educational institutions on tourism
                    and private organizations in Armenia to provide better awareness of
                    employers' expectations.

                    USAID/CAPS program is to provide technical assistance in establishing
                    carrier centers that support tourism graduates in finding jobs in
                    tourist companies.

                    So far, 220 students and graduates of tourism departments, as well
                    as 160 tourist companies have been registered in the database of the
                    center.


                    http://groong.usc.edu/news/msg213104.html

                    ........
                    TOURISM IN NKR HAS PROSPECTS
                    Naira Hayrumyan

                    KarabakhOpen
                    30-11-2007 18:00:15

                    Interview of Karabakh-Open.com with the director of Tourism Development
                    Agency Sergey Shahverdyan

                    Mr. Shahverdyan, we have learned that the Tourism Development Agency is
                    likely to hold a conference of tourism specialists of NKR which will
                    sum up the tourist season in 2007 and discuss the ways of developing
                    tourism in NKR. Recently the NKR prime minister has said the government
                    did not have a distinct policy on tourism. There were also opinions
                    that income from tourism is insignificant in the state budget and
                    the GDP. What is you evaluation of the potential of this sphere?


                    In 2006 exports totaled 3 million dollars (Armenia excluding). At the
                    same time, the export of services (tourism) brought 1 million 250
                    thousand dollars to the country. In the same year, the government
                    spent about one million drams, and the Tourism Development Agency
                    spent about 5 million drams on efforts for development of tourism. The
                    money spent by the government on support and development of tourism
                    totaled less than 0.5 percent of the money invested in the country's
                    economy by tourists.

                    In the meantime, the country continued to develop dynamically in 2007.

                    Additional 130 hotel accommodations were set up. The hotels of
                    Karabakh can accommodate 422 tourists at once, which is up by 20
                    percent compared with 2006. The number of tourists to Karabakh has
                    grown by 10 percent compared with 2006.

                    The dynamics of development of tourism in 2007 makes worry. For
                    instance, in 2000-2004 the number of visitors grew by 30 percent
                    annually, whereas since 2005 the rate of growth has gone down. In
                    2007 the number of tourists went up by only 10 percent compared with
                    the past year. The dropping rate of growth of the number of tourists
                    is evidence to the need for pro-active efforts to attract tourists
                    and create a favorable image for the country.




                    One of the main factors for the development of tourism is hotels. What
                    is the state of hotels in Karabakh?


                    The hotels in the country are developing dynamically and meet
                    the demands of tourism. As I already said, in 2007 about 130 new
                    accommodations were set up, another 150 are expected in 2008. However,
                    despite the growth of the number of tourists visiting NKR, the
                    functioning of hotels is only 10 percent.

                    The low load of tourist hotels makes owners of hotels raise the prices
                    for services, which is one of the factors hampering the development of
                    tourism in Karabakh. Besides, low profit does not enable improvement
                    of service which is not good for the image of the country.

                    If this tendency persists, hotel business which is now developing
                    fast may become less attractive for investments. These tendencies
                    are evidence that the government should make proactive efforts to
                    develop tourism.




                    Armenia and Karabakh are said to be "expensive" countries for
                    tourists. Do you agree to this? What is the role of tourism in the
                    economic development of the country?


                    According to the USAID report, every tourist who visited Armenia and
                    Karabakh in 2007 spent 100 dollars per day on accommodation, food,
                    transport and other services, souvenirs, etc. During the travel season
                    in 2007 not less than 1 million 375 thousand dollars was invested in
                    the economy.

                    Considering the multiplier effect, this 1 million 375 thousand means
                    for the economy of Karabakh as much as 2 million dollars.

                    Besides, tourism is a branch of economy which creates jobs without
                    special investments. According to the World Tourism Organization,
                    every 100 tourists visiting a country create at least one job.




                    In your opinion, what are the main goals that the government should
                    attain to develop tourism?


                    Much has been done toward this over the past few years. Legislation
                    has been created, government policies on tourism are worked out. The
                    government has declared tourism as one of the priorities of the
                    country's development.

                    In this context, the primary goal of the government is to set the
                    country to be able to receive guests. This is a multilayer process
                    which takes immense efforts and coordinated action on behalf of
                    the government, local government, communities and people working in
                    tourism. It is necessary to take into account the interests of tourism
                    in decision making. It is necessary to set up a government agency,
                    as foreseen by the law, which will have a broad range of powers. If
                    we solve this problem effectively, soon tourism may become the main
                    source of income for the country and its citizens.

                    http://www.karabakh-open.com/src/ind...&id=2&nid=6701

                    CONFERENCE ON DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM

                    KarabakhOpen
                    05-12-2007 11:07:26

                    Issues on the development of tourism in Artsakh were discussed in
                    yesterday's conference held by the Tourism Development Agency. The
                    director of the agency Sergey Shahverdyan presented the results of the
                    monitoring according to which 2 new hotels were opened in Karabakh
                    in 2007, the Armenia Hotel in Stepanakert and the Tsovi Kar in the
                    village of Vank, the aqua park was opened near the village of Togh in
                    Hadrut, and the ethnic quarters in the village of Ghshlagh in Askeran.

                    "Currently the capacity of hotels in Karabakh is 422 which is up by
                    20 percent from the previous year. However, hotel load is hardly 10
                    percent," Sergey Shahverdyan said. The participants of the conference
                    said it is due to expensive prices.

                    According to Aslan Grigoryan, director of Aslan Travel, there are
                    prospects for development of tourism in Karabakh but they are not
                    used. He said the development of tourism is hindered by the lack of
                    travel agencies, as well as advertising.

                    The participants said it is necessary to create an agency which would
                    coordinate the sphere of tourism and to publish tour guides. It was
                    proposed to focus on improvement of roads to cultural and historical
                    sights, as well as to develop museums.

                    http://www.karabakh-open.com/src/ind...&id=2&nid=6761
                    What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      The Nascent Insurance Sector of Armenia (Part I)


                      ANNUAL INCOME OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS IN ARMENIA WITH INTRODUCTION OF OSAGO TO MAKE UP $15 MLN

                      ArmInfo
                      2007-10-22 17:43:00

                      The annual income of insurance premiums in Armenia with introduction
                      of OSAGO ( mandatory vehicle insurance) will make up about $15 mln (in
                      reliance on 300,000 motorcars with conventional premium of $50), Deputy
                      Director of "Sil Insurance" Company Andranik Ohanjanyan told ArmInfo.

                      He said that "Sil Insurance" has necessary personnel and resources to
                      create a branch network in Armenia. Moreover, it is scheduled to form
                      operative groups to work in emergency sites round-the-clock. The
                      Company has coordinated the actions also with State Traffic
                      Inspectorate to avoid possible problems. He thinks that other big
                      participants in this segment, that number some 4-5 companies, will
                      succeed in overcoming the problems with transfer to OSAGO.

                      A. Ohanjanyan said that since 2006 RA Central Bank as the megaregulator
                      of the market has reduced the number of insurance companies almost
                      twice within 2 incomplete years (from 25 to 9). The withdrawal of
                      companies that do not "like" to pay for the damage from the market is
                      likely to be continued, which is, probably, one of the main reasons
                      of the high loss of motor-vehicle insurance (by CB forecasts 40%
                      average annual growth of motor-vehicle insurance loss by 2010). The
                      growth of the insurance loss for the recent years will, appearingly,
                      continue. A. Ohanjanyan thinks that today's loss bar does not reveal
                      the real picture of the existing risks and shows just the share of
                      indemnities in insurance premiums.

                      The mentality of Armenian drivers is also important. It concerns
                      especially those who buy cars in credit and have to insure it,
                      which implies an application to the State Traffic Inspectorate or
                      an insurance company in case of accident. Given the aforementioned,
                      it is untimely to speak of an objective assessment of insurance
                      loss. It will become possible when all the accidents are registered
                      at the State Traffic Inspectorate. Indeed, in this case, the loss
                      indicator will exceed forecasts, A. Ohanjanyan said.

                      The Armenian Central Bank is studying the possibility of introducing
                      OSAGO (mandatory vehicle insurance) in the country within 2-3
                      years. This requires a staged reform of the insurance system. The
                      CB thinks it necessary for the first stage of reform to clean the
                      insurance market, introduce standards and risk management mechanisms,
                      improve management. For the second stage it is necessary to create
                      a database, form an institution of actuaries and professional
                      market participants. For the third stage it is necessary to
                      introduce mandatory insurance. The legislation must be improved
                      simultaneously. To transfer to the mandatory insurance, Armenian
                      insurance companies will be required at least 2-3 years of experience
                      in this segment of the market, additional capital, network of agents
                      in the country, and relevant equipment.

                      http://www.arminfo.info/index.php?sh...74300_eng_4570

                      PROFIT OF ARMENIAN INSURANCE COMPANIES MAKES ABOUT 574 MILLION DRAMS AT END OF THIRD QUARTER OF 2007

                      Noyan Tapan
                      Nov 6, 2007

                      YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 6, NOYAN TAPAN. As of September 30, 2007, the
                      overall assets of Armenian insurance companies made 8 bln 420 mln
                      772 thousand drams (over 25 mln 551.7 thousand USD) - against 8
                      bln 128 mln 401 thousand drams as of August 30, 2007. According
                      to data of the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), the overall monetary
                      resources of these companies on the indicated dates amounted to 116
                      mln 194 thousand drams and 122 mln 537 thousand drams respectively,
                      their fixed assets - to 484 mln 642 thousand drams and 486 mln 297
                      thousand drams, own capital - 5 bln 434 mln 456 thousand drams and
                      5 bln 206 mln 682 thousand drams, and their authorized capital -
                      4 bln 765 mln 177 thousand drams and 4 bln 686 mln 727 thousand drams.

                      The Armenian insurance companies' bills paybale concerning budgetary
                      and compulsory social insurance payments made 36 mln 497 thousand
                      drams as of September 30, 2007 and 31 mln 504 thousand drams as of
                      August 30; their bills receivable - 294 mln 283 thousand drams and
                      279 mln 783 thousand drams respectively; insurance reserves - 1 bln
                      614 mln 880 thousand drams and 1 bln 559 mln 18 thousand drams.

                      Insurance premiums of the insurance companies on the indicated dates
                      made 4 bln 384 mln 949 thousand drams and 3 bln 930 mln 971 thousand
                      drams; insurance premiums transferred to reinsurers - 2 bln 91 mln
                      118 thousand drams and 1 bln 916 mln 884 thousand drams respectively.

                      The total amount of insurance compensation sums of the insurance
                      companies amounted to 496 mln 259 thousand drams as of September 30,
                      2007 and 453 mln 675 thousand drams as of August 30, 2007; the share of
                      reinsurers in insurance compensation made 195 mln 368 thousand drams
                      and 181 mln 556 thousand drams; the total amount of insurance sums -
                      1 trillion 639 bln 930 bln 628 thousand drams and 2 trillion 492 bln
                      880 mln 272 thousand drams.

                      The undistributed profit of the insurance companies made 573 mln
                      908 thousand drams as of September 30, 2007 and 506 mln 175 thousand
                      drams of August 30, 2007.

                      http://www.gab-ibn.com/IMG/pdf/Ar13-...er_Of_2007.pdf


                      NUMBER OF INSURANCE COMPANIES DECLINES IN ARMENIA WHEREAS SERVICES PROVIDED BY THEM GROW

                      Noyan Tapan
                      Nov 21, 2007

                      YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 21, NOYAN TAPAN. As a result of legislative
                      amendments in Armenia's insurance sector and the introduction of
                      international standards, 6 insurance companies stopped functioning
                      in 2007. According to the chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia
                      (CBA) Tigran Sargsian, the 9 insurance companies currently operating
                      in Armenia have 38 thousand insurance contracts, which is more by 30%
                      than 15 insurance companies had in 2006.

                      T. Sargsian said that it is envisaged to expand the involvement of
                      actuaries in the insurance system and to introduce a database of
                      insurance cases. In particular, the RA ministry of health jointly
                      with the CBA will create a database of disease cases. Starting from
                      January 2008, the database of raod accidents, which is currently
                      being created jointly with the RA police, will be used.

                      In the words of the CBA chairman, the introduction of the compulsory
                      insurance institution in Armenia will begin with the compulsory
                      insurance of vehicle owners's responsibility to third persons. Starting
                      from January 2008, the institution of compulsory insurance will also be
                      introduced in the sphere of insurance of banking risks (particularly,
                      those related to regional functions).

                      http://www.nt.am/news.php?year=2007&...1&t=0&LangID=1
                      What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.

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