The dramatic drop in oil prices on Monday dubbed “Black Monday” (August 24) may take a toll on the Azerbaijani currency, experts say. The economy of Azerbaijan is dependent on oil. A day after the oil meltdown, Azerbaijan experienced a sudden shortage of US dollars in banks and exchange centers,
Turan News Agency
Dollar bills of denomination less than 100 disappeared from currency exchangers, and by the end of the week $100 bills were not available either. Banks and exchangers stopped selling dollars and only purchased it for manats.
On Monday, a number of banks started to sell the dollars on a limited basis. Each bank set its limit on the sale of the foreign currency in the amount of $1,000 to $5,000 to one customer.
According to expert Samir Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s financial market is expecting a new wave of devaluation, even though banks are still suffering from the first devaluation in February of this year. In an interview with
Turan news agency
, he said that during the first devaluation the banks suffered millions in losses mainly due to bad loans and problems with payment of interest on deposits. “The banking sector is undergoing a lot of stress. The central bank deprived the licenses of two banks and a few banks are ready to leave the market. No less than a third of existing banks operate at a loss,” he said. Now it is due to the fall in oil prices, the overall global crisis in the world, the fall of the ruble and the rest of the neighboring currencies.