Inflation rate amounted to 5.4% y/y and -0.5% m/m in March 2017 while core inflation (excluding food items and energy products) stood at 2.9% y/y. Annual inflation decreased slightly from previous month but is still well above NBG’s target for 2017 of 4%.
The main contributing factors to monthly inflation in March were alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.09ppts, up 1.3% m/m), while food and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.33ppts, down 1.1% m/m) dragged monthly inflation down.
Annual inflation was mainly driven by transportation (+2.26ppts, up 18.7% y/y), food and non-alcoholic beverages (+1.62ppts, up 5.4% y/y) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+1.03ppts, up 16.0% y/y).
International arrivals were up 13.1% y/y to 511.0 thousand in March 2017. The number of visitors from Azerbaijan stood at 146.2 thousand (up 11.1% y/y), followed by Armenia at 105.7 thousand (up 11.2% y/y), Turkey at 85.1 thousand (down 17.3% y/y) and Russia at 66.8 thousand (up 16.3% y/y). Noticeably, arrivals from Iran grew 2.9x y/y to 40.2 thousand in March.
Georgia’s gross international reserves stood at US$ 2.83bn (up 15.3% y/y and 1.9% m/m) as of 31 March 2017. The NBG did not intervene in foreign exchange market during March. Georgia’s foreign reserves equal 3.7 months’ worth of imports.
Debt and Money Market
Eurobonds: during the week Georgia’s Sovereign Eurobond (GEORG 4/21) price was down 0.1% w/w to 110.8 (YTM 3.9%). BGEO Group JSC (BGEOLN 7/23) price was down 0.3% w/w to 100.9 (YTM 5.8%), Georgian Oil & Gas Corporation (GEOROG 4/21) price was down 0.2% w/w to 105.2 (YTM 5.3%), while Georgian Railway (GRAIL 7/22) price was down 0.1% w/w at 110.4 (YTM 5.4%).
On Friday’s trading session, TBC Bank Group PLC (TBCG LN) shares closed at GBP 15.00, up by 1.3% w/w. During the week 84.3 thousand shares traded on the London Stock Exchange.
During the week 639.9 thousand of BGEO Group PLC (BGEO LN) shares traded, closing at GBP 34.14 (up by 5.8% w/w) on Friday’s trading session.
Georgia Healthcare Group PLC (GHG LN) shares were down by 5.1% w/w closing at GBP 3.51 on Friday. During the week 15.3 thousand GHG shares changed hands on the LSE.
No trades were recorded on Georgian Stock Exchange.