The number of banks in Armenia may reduce to 14-16

09.02.2016 18:41
The number of banks in Armenia may reduce to 14-16

YEREVAN, February 9. /ARKA/. The number of banks in Armenia may drop from the current 21 to 14-16, Ruben Melikyan, Chief Financial Officer of the Lebanese-owned bank and a member of its Board, said in an interview with ARKA news agency.

According to him, this is likely to be prompted by the Central Bank’s 2015 decision requiring that banks raise their minimum total capital to 30 billion drams.

"The reduction will not lead to the establishment of oligopolies in the banking system. There will be nothing tragic in it, especially that more than 10 banks will continue operating and most of them are owned by different owners and can easily compete in the market," said Melikyan.

He stressed that there are no big players in the local banking sector to grab a large niche in the market by driving out competitors.

In late 2014 the Central Bank of Armenia decided to raise the minimum size of the total capital of commercial banks from 5 billion drams to 30 billion drams. The decision becomes effective from January 1, 2017.

Armenian banks assets in 2015 increased by 4.67% to 3.548.1 trillion drams; their liabilities upped by 2.52% to 2.986.1 trillion drams and their credit investments grew by 0.69% to 2.182.2 trillion drams. Of the 21 banks 16 closed 2015 with the combined profit of 29.5 billion drams, while 5 other banks posted 11.3 billion drams of losses. (In 2014, the banks' profits amounted to 37.4 billion drams and losses to 21.6 billion drams). ($1 – 494.63 drams). -0-

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