The Armenian banking sector accounts for approximately 92 percent of the assets of the Armenian fnancial system. As of 2012, the Armenian banking market included 22 commercial banks, with 442 branch offces. The collective equity of the banks equaled AMD 366 billion ($897m USD); total assets, AMD 2.2 trillion ($5.4b USD); and total liabilities, AMD 1.8 trillion ($4.4b USD).The Armenian securities market consists of two self-regulating organizations (SROs): The Armenian stock exchange NASDAQ OMX Armenia – organizes foreign currency and securities trading, and the Central Depository, which is also a member of the NASDAQ OMX group. NASDAQ OMX Armenia in 2012 lists securities of 14 reporting issuers.
Other Armenian fnancial institutions include 32 nonbank fnancial institutions with 78 branch offces; nine insurance companies, four insurance brokerage frms; 236 currency exchange offces; seven money transferring companies and six organizations dealing with processing, clearing of payment instruments and payment documents; and eight investment companies.
Foreign currency operations are regulated by the law “On Currency Regulation and Currency Control”. The law stipulates that prices for transactions between Armenian residents, including branches of foreign companies, and salaries other than those paid by international organizations, must be quoted and paid in Armenian currency. There are no conversion restrictions between Armenian and foreign currency, and foreign currency accounts may be maintained in Armenian banks. For more information on currency exchange rates visit www.rate.am. Commercial banks operate under the authority and supervision of the Central Bank of Armenia or CBA (www.cba.am). Since 2006, the Central Bank of Armenia has also acted as regulator and supervisor of the Armenian fnancial market. CBA’s principal mission is to maintain price stability, and since 2006 it has exercised an infation targeting strategy that infuences domestic interest rates as an operational goal, and addresses the forecasted level of infation is an intermediate goal. In addition, CBA monitors trends in the fnancial markets, evaluates risk, and measures the impact of developments in the fnancial system.
KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young have offces in Yerevan and offer services in four key business areas: Audit, fnancial advisory, tax and consulting. Grant Thornton CJSC, which is the Armenian member frm of Grant Thornton International, another major international accounting frm, operates in Armenia as well and provides high quality assurance and audit-related services both within Armenia and throughout the CIS region. Recently Binder Dijker Otte & Co (BDO), the ffth largest audit frm worldwide, entered the Armenian market. The services offered by BDO Armenia include audit and related services, fnancial reporting in compliance with IFRS, comprehensive tax services, accounting, tax and customs planning, fnancial, tax and management advisory services. In addition to these frms, there are a number of competitive local companies that provide a wide range of high quality professional services and are capable of operating not only at a local level but internationally as well.
Collectively, these frms represent the strongest community of professional service providers in the region, and offer high quality independent assurance services in strict adherence to national and international standards.