Azerbaijan’s Central Bank increases foreign exchange reserves in Q1

By Aynur Jafarova

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) increased its foreign exchange reserves held in securities by 13.24 percent in January to May 2013 compared to the same period of last year, the CBA's statistical report released on Tuesday says.

As of late May, some 2.72 billion manat or 21.8 percent of the total foreign exchange reserves held by the Central Bank were placed in securities.

According to the report, 9.11 billion manat are held in deposits in the accounts of other central banks, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund. Their volume increased by 16.6 percent compared to the same period in 2012, while the share of total assets held by the Central Bank increased to 73.29 percent (72.6 percent in April 2012).

The total volume of foreign exchange reserves held by the Central Bank in May 2013 amounted to 12.44 billion manat, increasing by 15.51 percent compared to the same period in 2012. The Central Bank reserves stored in foreign currency as of late May amounted to 12.2 billion manat, an increase of 1.6 billion manat in comparison with the same period of 2012.

Earlier, the CBA said that the strategic currency reserves of the country rose by 2.3 percent, or $1.1 billion, in the first quarter of 2013 compared to early this year. The ratio of the strategic currency reserves to the country's GDP is close to 70 percent.

According to the CBA report on the Q1 results, the bank's foreign currency reserves grew in this period by 5.5 percent to $12.3 billion, which is enough to finance imports of goods and services over a year.

The official exchange rate on June 19 is 0.7846 AZN / USD.