“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” recalls that when the Armenian dram started depreciating against the U.S. dollar and the euro more than a month ago the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) said that that is good for the economy. The CBA said in particular that Armenian exports will be more competitive. “What has changed in the past month that forced the Central Bank to stabilize the dram at the expense of our economic development prospects?” the paper asks.
“Renowned Republicans claim that the financial system has come out of turmoil after Serzh Sarkisian’s intervention,” continues “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Have large-scale importers managed to convince him in that their profits are more important than economic growth? Something like that must have happened. Otherwise, the CBA would not have taken drastic measures to prop up the dram. Especially several days after the end of the panic.”
“Hayots Ashkhar,” for its part, criticizes the CBA for raising its benchmark interest rate by 1.75 percentage points as part of those measures. The paper says that the higher cost of borrowing will suppress economic activity in Armenia. “What for?” it asks. “To stop bankers from engaging in speculations and playing against the dram in the currency market? Wouldn’t it be better to influence those mostly state-controlled players instead with other, much more effective levers? The same, by the way applies, to prices. If the prices of sugar, cooking oil and drugs are going up in an unfounded manner then the prime minister should not have toured shops and personally changed price tags. It would have been enough to twist the arms of monopolists who raise prices to make disproportionate profits.”