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Armenian national currency is 15 years old

By Messenger staff
Monday, November 24
15 years ago the Armenian national currency, the dram, was introduced. Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, who was the head of the Armenian Central Bank for a long time, has said that Armenia has a stable and reliable currency. He says this has been proved by the durability the Armenian banking and finance system has shown during the financial crisis. According to the Prime Minister, it is important that the banking culture of the developed countries has been established in Armenia.

The introduction of the dram has not been so pleasant for the Armenian population. 200 rubles were exchanged for 1 dram at that time, and 14.5 drams equaled 1 USD. Many think that the initial ruble/dram exchange rate was too low and has devalues the bank savings of the population. Soon after the dram was introduced it devalued against the dollar. Along with the population and economists, designers also criticized the dram - harsh mistakes were made in its design, and linguists claimed that there was a mistake in spelling of its name in the Armenian language.

In 2003 the rate of dram to dollar was 600 dram to 1 USD. Since then the rate has been stabilized. Many consider this to be artificial, however the Government says that the stabilization has been brought about by the large amount of private transfers. Currently 300 dram equals 1 USD.