World’s Best Currency Leaves Azeris Cold After 2 Devaluations

It took a decade of gains for the Azeri currency to build up trust, and two devaluations to ruin it.

Even after a rally that’s made the manat the world’s best performer since the start of February, Azerbaijan’s Main Street isn’t convinced. The little confidence people had left in the Caspian Sea nation’s currency after it lost more than half its value in 2015 has been worn away by bouts of panic and wild swings in the exchange rate last year.

“I have no dollars, and even if I did, I wouldn’t sell them for manat because it’s not a reliable currency,” said Tatyana Kryuchkina, who works for a private company as an accountant. “The manat continued to lose value last year even after two devaluations.”

The currency’s comeback highlights the disconnect between an economy on its way to recovery after its first contraction in two decades and the double-digit inflation and currency turmoil that



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