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Azerbaijan Closes Independent Currency Exchange Booths

BAKU -- Azerbaijani authorities have withdrawn licenses from independent currency exchange booths operating across the country.

Central bank officials announced on January 14 that only currency exchange banks and their branches would be allowed to continue operating.

The move comes as Azerbaijan's national currency continued to depreciate.

The manat fell more than 40 percent against the dollar after the Caucasus nation's central bank relinquished control of its exchange rate last month as slumping oil prices spurred a flight to dollars.