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Azerbaijan Limits Hard-Currency Transfers Abroad

BAKU -- Azerbaijan has tightened restrictions on the transfer of foreign currency abroad as of December 8.

Residents and nonresidents of Azerbaijan who do not have bank accounts in the former Soviet republic's banks can now send a maximum of $1,000 abroad per day. The monthly limit is $10,000.

Until December 8, the monthly limit had been $30,000.

The move by Azerbaijan's central bank comes less than three months after it raised its key interest rate for the fourth time in 2016, as the country's manat currency continued a decline sparked by the slump in global oil prices.

The energy-rich country's government has struggled to restore trust in the manat after two devaluations last year.

The currency lost about half its value against the dollar in 2015.

Most commercial lenders in Azerbaijan have halted foreign currency sales in August as demand rose and the manat continued to depreciate.

OIl and gas exports make up about three-quarters of Azerbaijan's state revenues.