The development of Armenian capital markets was the focus of a conference that took place in the Marriott Hotel in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia on 7 February 2014. The conference was jointly organised by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and NASDAQ OMX Armenia, with support from the Central Bank of Armenia. The event brought together over 100 participants from private companies, as well as government officials and other stakeholders, to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with building robust capital markets in Armenia.
Top managers attended from local banks, potential issuers of corporate bonds, Armenian and regional central banks, stock exchanges, clearing and settlement institutions, rating agencies, domestic and international investors, as well as officials from the Ministry of Finance. Participants examined the global and domestic context, taking into account market views and how the EBRD and other donors can help to address the development needs of Armenian capital markets.
The forum was opened by Arthur Javadyan, Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia, David Sargsyan, Minister of Finance and Andre Kuusvek, EBRD Director for Local Currency and Capital Market Development.
“The EBRD is a key investor in Armenia’s private sector and an advocate for further development of the local currency and capital markets. Capital markets promote economic growth and welfare generation by mobilising financial resources and facilitating their efficient allocation. Investors stand to benefit from a more robust market by having a wider range of instruments in which to invest and hedge, while issuers will have access to a broader selection of tools to finance their investment needs,” said Mark Davis, Head of the EBRD Yerevan Office.
“This conference coincides with the EBRD issuing its first publicly-auctioned local currency bond in Armenia, the proceeds of which the Bank is channelling into its local dram investment portfolio. This is a signal that Armenian markets are open to the international investment community, while helping to align the currency and maturity balance-sheet compositions of both participating investors and dram borrowers,” added Mr Davis.
Armenia has a well-structured mandatory pension system, which will contribute to, and benefit from, a robust capital market. One anticipated result of the conference will be the creation of a public-private policy dialogue platform between private sector players, regulators and government to pave the way for a modernised and sustainable infrastructure that will benefit all parties.
“With recent developments and the joint efforts of all market players to build more efficient, transparent and attractive capital markets in Armenia, we see growing interest from the international financial community,” said Konstantin Saroyan, CEO, NASDAQ OMX Armenia. “This conference is additional proof of our market attractiveness. We will strive to develop this further and to create a marketplace that facilitates investment in the Armenian economy."
“As a result of efficient cooperation we managed to secure the participation of the EBRD and the International Financial Corporation in Armenian capital markets. Recently, these institutions made their first Armenian dram-nominated bond placements. This will create high-quality investment instruments and a favourable investment environment, both of which are especially important for the efficient management of pension funds. It also paves the way for other companies to consider capital markets as alternative sources of attracting investment,” said Arthur Javadyan, Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia, opening the conference.
The conference is funded through the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund which allows the EBRD to support local currency and capital markets development through institutional capacity building.