Oil Exporter Azerbaijan Devalues Currency 33.5 Percent

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) —

Azerbaijan’s Central Bank has suddenly devalued the country’s currency by 33.5 percent against the dollar.

Like Russia, Azerbaijan has been hurt by the sharp decline in the price of oil, its main export. Russia’s currency has lost more than half of its value in the past year.

In announcing the devaluation on Saturday, the Central Bank said it was aimed at “stimulating the diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy, strengthening the international competitiveness of the economy and its export potential, and guaranteeing stability in the balance of payments.”

The official rate for the manat was set at 1.05 to the dollar. The day before, the rate was 0.7862 to the dollar.

The devaluation raised fears of a spike in inflation, especially on the consumer market, because it will make imports more expensive.

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