By Atom Markarian
The U.S. dollar has continued to show signs of appreciation against the Armenian dram for the second day running.
After considerable stabilization over the recent period the American currency, which traded at 448 drams only thee days ago, today could be purchased in Yerevan’s exchange bureaus for 453-455 drams on the average.
Meanwhile, exchange offices are reluctant to sell dollars which arouses suspicions of the existence of so-called wholesale purchase orders.
The appreciation of the dollar is taking place against the background of the continuing depreciation of the euro against the American currency, which obviously has its impact on the Armenian market as well.
Central Bank Chairman Tigran Sarkisian explains the latest rise in the dollar exchange rate by a considerable increase in demand for the American currency.
“The tendencies forming on the international currency markets have their influence on the expectations of our market agents as well and they are naturally beyond our control,” he told RFE/RL.
While last year’s depreciation of the dollar prompted some people to trust the euro or simply diversify their savings, then this time around they tend to trust more the dollar anticipating a possible fall of the euro.
Sarkisian denies the claims that the dollar’s appreciation may be connected with the decrease in the amounts of private remittances to Armenia from abroad.
On the contrary, according to the CB data, the amount of transfers from abroad increased by 40 percent during the three months of this year.
The chief banker’s traditional advice remains the same: “The best way to neutralize risks is to keep savings in Armenian drams and to follow the prices.”