USD exchange rate rose dramatically today at various banks in Yerevan. Banks sell 1 USD for 380 as of now, which is up by 20% from yesterday’s selling rate of 307-308. Banks buy at USD at the rate of 320 – 330 AMD, up from yesterday’s 305-307.
In front of my very eyes the information screen was adjusted in Converse bank stationed in Yerevan’s Republic square to indicate the new selling rate of 380. I specifically asked the bank’s teller in disbeleif, thinking they perhaps misspelled a digit, putting 380 instead of 308. “Everything’s correct, sir!”, she smiled back, “I found it hard to understand myself at first”.
Dashing accross the square to HSBC I found their exchange rate at the selling level of 380, while buying for 320. Greedy bastards! Making 50 drams in every single dollar sold!
The Central bank website and most information websites at the moment of writing show the average rate of 305. RFE/RL reports the actual rate changes. I’m sure ther’ll soon be some ‘responsible media’ accusing it for spreading panic and hurting Armenia’s national interest.
Will anyone every think about Armenian people’s interest? The implications of SHARP dollar rise for the economy, where import surplus exceeds export 3 times, are hard to predict. I’ve been long critical of artificially high AMD rate, because it hurts exports. So maybe this is a good development.
However, most people who are paid AMD from the country’s struggling budget which is based on unrealistic prediciton of 9% positive economic growth in 2009 will surely suffer soon, as the price hikes for imported goods – basically everything we use today from sugar to oil will definately follow suit.