Representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank arrived in Azerbaijan today to discuss a possible $4 billion aid package deal. The emergency loan package risks becoming the first of a series of bailouts resulting from a steep decline in oil prices,
The IMF team held a closed-door meeting with the Azerbaijani Finance Ministry in Baku on Thursday,
reported quoting an unnamed finance ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Azerbaijani government reportedly requested the “fact-finding staff visit” to discuss “areas for technical assistance and assess possible financing needs,” per the same source.
Azerbaijan, hit by the tumbling oil prices and a dramatic devaluation of the national currency, is looking to borrow $3 billion from the IMF and $1 billion from the World Bank
In December, the Central Bank of Azerbaijan abandoned its currency peg and floated the manat. Since then, the manat has lost one-third of its value. A series of protests over rising food prices and unemployment took place in Azerbaijan’s regions earlier this month. On January 19, the government imposed a 20 percent charge on foreign exchange taken out of the country for investment abroad.