By Rasana Gasimova
Banks operating in Azerbaijan have expressed their willingness to work together to increase the volume of business loans issued in the country.
During the economic meeting held under the head of state in Financial Market Supervisory Authority of Azerbaijan (FIMSA) on October 15, banks agreed to review their strategic plans and submit their proposals in this direction as soon as possible.
During the meeting, Ibrahim Alishov, the Acting Chairman of the Executive Board of Financial Market acknowledged President Ilham Aliyev’s earlier criticism that banks give priority to consumer lending rather than to business loans. In this regard, Alishov emphasized that banks should take measures to issue more business loans.
However, Alishov praised the banking sector’s performance in 2019 that is more positive compared to that in 2018.
He noted that reforms implemented and progress achieved in ensuring sustainable development of the Azerbaijani economy are positively evaluated by such international organizations as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other leading international financial institutions.
The Chairman mentioned the World Bank's latest Doing Business report, where Azerbaijan ranked among the top 20 most reformer countries. Moody's International Rating Agency, which analyzes global financial markets globally, reaffirmed Azerbaijan's position at a stable Ba2 level, saying that the country is increasing credit-banking sector lending as a result of targeted reforms, lowering financial risks and increasing sector resilience, said Alishov. He also added that another prestigious financial institution, Fitch International Rating Agency, evaluated country’s economic indicators at the BB + rating and Azerbaijan ranked first among the South Caucasus in the third quarter of 2019.
The meeting touched on the current state of financial markets, improving the efficiency and sustainability of the sector, along with various directions of the national economy, and specific goals and objectives.
The meeting was organized by the President with the participation of the Azerbaijan Banks Association, as well as consumer-oriented banks operating in the country. Areas of activity were discussed in order to implement the tasks set in the financial and banking sectors.
Established 3 February 2016, Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FIMSA) has a goal of improving licensing, regulation and supervision of securities market, Investment funds, Insurance, credit organizations (banks, non-bank credit organization and postal operator), payment systems operations.
In addition, the authority is engaged in improving a supervisory system for the prevention of legalizing criminally obtained funds and other property, maintenance of transparency and flexibility in the supervision of these fields.
FIMSA is the first public legal entity that ensures the effective functioning of the financial markets, as well as protection of the rights of creditors, investors and insurers.