The Armenian banking sector accounts for approximately 92 percent of the assets of the Armenian financial system. As of 2012, the Armenian banking market included 22 commercial banks, with 442 branch offices. The collective equity of the banks equaled AMD 366 billion ($897m USD); total assets, AMD 2.2 trillion ($5.4b USD); and total liabilities, AMD 1.8 trillion ($4.4b USD).
The Armenian securities market consists of two self-regulating organizations (SROs): The Armenian stock exchange NASDAQ OMX Armenia – organizes foreign currency and securities trading, and the Central Depository, which is also a member of the NASDAQ OMX group. NASDAQ OMX Armenia in 2012 lists securities of 14 reporting issuers.
Other Armenian financial institutions include 32 nonbank financial institutions with 78 branch offices; nine insurance companies, four insurance brokerage firms; 236 currency exchange offices; seven money transferring companies and six organizations dealing with processing, clearing of payment instruments and payment documents; and eight investment companies.
Foreign currency operations are regulated by the law “On Currency Regulation and Currency Control”. The law stipulates that prices for transactions between Armenian residents, including branches of foreign companies, and salaries other than those paid by international organizations, must be quoted and paid in Armenian currency. There are no conversion restrictions between Armenian and foreign currency, and foreign currency accounts may be maintained in Armenian banks.
For more information on currency exchange rates visit http://www.rate.am. Commercial banks operate under the authority and supervision of the Central Bank of Armenia or CBA (www.cba.am). Since 2006, the Central Bank of Armenia has also acted as regulator and supervisor of the Armenian financial market. CBA’s principal mission is to maintain price stability, and since 2006 it has exercised an inflation targeting strategy that influences domestic interest rates as an operational goal, and addresses the forecasted level of inflation is an intermediate goal. In addition, CBA monitors trends in the financial markets, evaluates risk, and measures the impact of developments in the financial system.
*Acknowledgement – this content is provided from Investment Guide Armenia 2013 upon approval. – Full report here