Restructuring of Azerbaijan’s banking sector should continue - IMF
Azerbaijan should continue the restructuring of the banking sector, Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told a press conference in Baku Sept. 13.
“We discussed the issue of restructuring of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) and the banking sector as a whole, as part of meetings with the finance minister, as well as the leadership of the Financial Market Supervisory Authority and the Central Bank. We believe that the government of Azerbaijan has taken serious steps to resolve the issue of problem banks,” Azour said.
“The restructuring of the banking sector will have a positive impact on its sustainability, enhance credibility of the financial and banking sector, and reduce budget risks. Simultaneously, it is necessary to support banking activities,” he added.
The process of restructuring the banking sector in Azerbaijan started in January 2016. As a result, licenses of 11 banks were revoked. Also, it was announced about the restructuring of the IBA.
Moreover, 2017 saw the merger of two banks – AtaBank and Caspian Development Bank.
The process of IBA restructuring was completed on Sept. 1.
The IMF office was opened in Baku in 1992. In 1995-2005, the Fund allocated loans worth $577.3 million to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan fully repaid the loans.
There has been no need for Azerbaijan to apply to the IMF for financial resources since 2005. Therefore, since 2006, the IMF and Azerbaijan have cooperated within the framework of consultations and technical assistance missions in main areas of macroeconomic policy.