The Azeri central bank said the job of overhauling the financial industry is almost done after shuttering every seventh lender in the country in 15 days and pushing several others to merge.
“The process of restructuring the banking sector has mostly been completed,” Namiq Aliyev, head of the central bank’s press service, said Thursday in an e-mailed response to questions. “Depending on the situation, the central bank is taking the necessary measures to ensure financial stability and defend the interests of creditors.”
Azerbaijan rushed to consolidate the banking industry starting in mid-January amid a crisis sweeping the economy of the third-largest oil exporter in the former Soviet Union after the collapse in crude prices. The national currency lost more than 50 percent against the dollar last year, with the central bank shifting to a free float after burning through more than half of its reserves.
Pressure on the currency market has eased in February. The manat is the best performer this month among its ex-Soviet peers with a 5.2 percent gain against the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.