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By Nailia Bagirova
BAKU Nov 30 Azerbaijan's central bank is
carrying out tight monetary policy to preserve stability, its
head Elman Rustamov told the former Soviet republic's parliament
Rustamov added that banks were not in stable condition in
Azerbaijan, whose commodity-dependent economy has been hurt by
weak oil prices.
Bowing to pressure from the oil price slump, the Azeri
government cut the projected oil price in this year's budget to
$25 per barrel earlier this year and moved the currency to a
managed float, easing pressure on foreign exchange reserves.
It also slashed its economic growth forecast for this year
to 2.8 percent contraction, dramatically revising down its
previous forecast of 1.8 percent growth.
The manat currency traded at 1.7318 per dollar on Wednesday,
a new low. Some banks had halted or limited sales of hard
currency to $100 per person in recent weeks, raising fears of
"The manat's rate has adapted to float under the oil price
of $45-$55 per barrel," Rustamov said. "If oil price rises or
declines by $10 from that level, revenues of citizens grow or
decline by 1.7 billion manats."
The Azeri central bank raised its refinancing rate to 15
percent from 9.5 percent on Sept. 9.
Rustamov said the Caucasus country's current account deficit
was expected to reach $5 billion by the end of 2016.
(Writing by Alexander Winning and Margarita Antidze; Editing by