Tigran Sarkisian expects a “boom” on the banking market of Armenia

09.07.2007 | 16:55 Home / News / News /

Yerevan, July 9 /Mediamax/. Chairman of the Central Bank (CB) of Armenia Tigran Sarkisian stated that he expects a “boom” on the banking market of Armenia this year, the process of which will be assisted by the arrival of a few new players.

Mediamax reports that Tigran Sarkisian said in the interview to Reuters that in 2007 the banking sector of Armenia, where there are 21 banks functioning, and the share of foreign capital exceeds 50%, is expecting the arrival of 7 new banks from abroad.

“The banking sector grows for 25% per year, outstripping the GDP growth of the country twice. This year we are going to have a boom, as 7 new banks are going to start functioning”, Tigran Sarkisian stated.

He noted that “ProCreditBank” and “Raiffeisen”, the Lebanese “Biblos”, the Russian “Gazprombank”, as well as the Dutch International Post Service Group, which plans to establish a post bank in Armenia, have officially stated their intention to enter the Armenian market. Talks are held with two more banks, which Tigran Sarkisian did not name.

Tigran Sarkisian noted that the guiding line for the CB is the 40% growth of the banking sector of Armenia. “The level of financial mediation in Armenia is yet too low, which is related to the small size of the market. However, in the course of time Armenia plans to become the financial center of the region”, CB Chairman stated.

Talking about the future plans, the Head of the Central Bank of Armenia informed on the intention to develop the insurance market, inviting large insurance companies from abroad, develop the securities market, which will be assisted by the cooperation with the Scandinavian OMX Exchange Operator, as well as the realization of pension reforms.

Tigran Sarkisian stated that “the main risk of the Armenian CB is the inflation”. “We experience both serious internal and external inflation pressure”, the Head of CB stated.

“In the course of the recent three and a half years the Armenian dram became stronger regarding the U.S. dollar for 50%. And the process will continue”, Tigran Sarkisian stated, refusing to forecast the level of further revaluation of the national currency.

According to the assessment of the Head of Armenian CB, this year the volume of the private transfers entering the republic will make about $1,350mln and the average annual growth of the volumes in the course of the nearest 5 years will remain at the level up to 30%.

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