By Gevork Stamboltsian
Speaking to reporters on Friday, the Minister of Finance and Economy Vardan Khachatrian didn't rule out that the currency fluctuation in Armenia's currency market is artificial in its nature. Armenia's Central Bank, which is being attacked by both opposition and pro-government media for not doing enough to stop the sharp decline of US dollar against Armenian dram, denied the charges, saying that the main reason behind the sudden upsurge of the Armenian currency is an unexpected increase in the volume of private cash inflows from abroad. According to Central Bank officials, the increase in the volume of Armenia's export also helped to strengthen the Armenian currency.
"There was really an inflow of large amounts of sums, but the abrupt fluctuations of last two weeks need to be analyzed," Khachatrian said. He told reporters that Armenian President Robert Kocharian discussed the currency situation in the financial market with key ministries.
"We wanted to find out whether there were speculative deals that could have contributed to the unexpected fluctuations in the currency exchange rates. The official statistics would not indicate any wrongdoing that could cause volatility in the market," the Minister said.
However, Vardan Khachatrian didn't rule out that there could have been speculative deals in the financial market. According to the Minister of Finance, Robert Kocharian gave a deadline to Armenia's Ministries and Central Bank officials to find out the real reasons within a week. As a first step, the Central Bank and the government should scrutinize the activity of the private banks.
Vardan Khachatrian also warned that if the crisis in the currency market continues it would have negative impact on State revenues. "A short-term change will not affect the budget," he added.