Nov 28 2008

IMF Announced Statement Concerning Armenia

Yerevan. OREANDA-NEWS On 28 November was announced, that Mr. Murilo
Portugal, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), issued the following statement in Yerevan at the conclusion of
his visit to Armenia during November 21-22:

"I am pleased to be in Armenia for the first time. The main purpose of
my visit has been to participate in the commemoration of the 15th
anniversary of the dram.

"In this context, I had the privilege to meet the President and the
Prime Minister, as well as the Minister of Finance, the Chairman of
the Central Bank of Armenia, and other representatives of the
government and parliament. We had very productive discussions, and I
would like to thank the Armenian authorities for their warm welcome
and excellent hospitality.

"I have been very impressed by the performance of the Armenian economy
over the last several years. Armenia has achieved high GDP growth, low
inflation, and a significant reduction in poverty.

"I am pleased to note that economic performance has remained strong
during the last few months, when the global financial crisis has
worsened. The impact of the crisis on Armenia has been limited.

"The Armenian banking system continues to perform well. Financial
soundness indicators do not indicate significant vulnerabilities. The
banking sector remains profitable and well-capitalized, nonperforming
loans are low, and the overall level of liquidity is still
comfortable. Banks continue to receive capital inflows from
international investors.

Remittances have grown quite rapidly.

As most of these inflows come from Russia, the continued growth of
remittances will remain closely linked to economic developments in

"Inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) also remain strong, and
there are no indications that any planned investment projects have
been cancelled.

"Falling food and oil import prices should benefit Armenian
consumers. At the same time, Armenian exports of base metals may
suffer from lower international prices.

"The IMF is pleased to have been able to support Armenia's economic
reform program over the last few years, and we will continue to do
so. On November 17, the IMF Executive Board approved a new three-year
IMF program under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Under the
new program, Armenia will be eligible to draw SDR 9.2 million or about
USD 14 million over the next three years, at an annual interest rate
of 0.5 percent. The main purpose of the program is to signal the IMF's
continued support for Armenia's macroeconomic policies and structural
reform agenda in the country's transition to emerging market economy
status, thus facilitating Armenia's integration into the world

"I am encouraged by the meetings held yesterday and today. I sensed
strong ownership of reforms, which is good for Armenia's continued
economic success. The IMF stands ready to assist Armenia with policy
and technical advice, as well as financial support in implementing its
reform agenda, and I wish the authorities success in this endeavor."

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress