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Azerbaijan Puts Four Top Banks Under Temporary Administration

Azerbaijan's central bank has not provided explanations for its actions.

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's central bank has put four of the energy-rich South Caucasus country's top banks under temporary administration, amid economic difficulties caused by a plunge in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

The central bank on April 27 appointed temporary administrators for Atabank, AGBank, NBCBank, and Amrah Bank, which are among the country's 15 largest financial institutions.

No explanations were officially given for the decision, but some media reports said it might be a first step toward the banks' possible closure or merger with other financial institution.

The ongoing widespread economic slowdown caused by governments imposing restrictions on businesses and individuals in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus has triggered a collapse of global oil prices in recent weeks.

Crude oil and natural gas are Azerbaijan's main sources of income.