The volume of foreign currency sold by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) in January 2021 increased by 1.1 percent compared to December 2020, Trend reports on Feb. 4 with reference to the reported data of Gazprombank.
This figure remains three times less than that in March 2020, when there was a peak in sales at the initial stage of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Gazprombank, a slight increase in SOFAZ’s currency sales volumes in January was stipulated by a short-term surge in household demand for foreign currency in connection with the unconfirmed information about a possible devaluation of the Azerbaijani manat.
As a result, sales volumes increased up to $142.2 million at the auction on January 12, 2021 or 22 percent of January volume.
The devaluation expectations of the population have normalized thanks to the prompt comments of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, containing signals of intention to maintain a stable exchange rate of the manat in the medium term.
Taking into account that 12.2 billion manat or $7.2 billion are planned to be transferred from SOFAZ to the state budget in 2021 and about $645 million or nine percent of the planned volume was sold in January, the average monthly sales volume will reach $600 million during the remaining 11 months of the year.
Gazprombank stressed that Azerbaijan is one of the CIS countries greatly provided with international reserves.
So, as of January 1, 2021, Azerbaijan’s international reserves, taking into account the assets of SOFAZ, reach about $50 billion, while providing coverage for 58 months of import.
Source: TREND News Agency