Number of tourists went up by 4.0% YoY in February, following a strongperformance in previous month (+18.9% YoY) according to TBC Research. Number of international visitors went down slightly by 0.6% YoY over the same period. Slowdown of visitors’ growth primarily reflects decline from the neighboring countries like Russia (-25.0% YoY) and Armenia (-18.2% YoY). At the same time, growth of visitors slowed markedly from Turkey (+3.8% YoY).
Important to note that the increase of visitors remained robust from the EU (+42.1% YoY) and Israel (+39.5% YoY). Amidst the heightened uncertainties related to the spread of coronavirus globally, the slowdown of tourism industry was expected. Current tendency hints at significant decline in coming months before recovering in summer, per our baseline scenario. Annual inflation stood at 6.4% in February, similar to the previous month. Amongn the major sub-categories, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages (+12.7% YoY) and hotels and restaurants (+8.7% YoY) posted highest growth. On the other hand, prices of clothing (-1.7% YoY) and communication services (-1.3% YoY) retreated over the same period.
On a monthly basis, CPI inflation went up by 0.3%, with the highest contribution from food and non-alcoholic beverages (+1.3% MoM). At the same time, prices of transportation declined (-0.7% MoM), likely reflecting the slump in oil prices globally.
Adjusted for the seasonal effects, annualized inflation stood below 3.0% in February, reconfirming the tendency of slowing price growth over the last couple of months.
Interest rates on government securities decreased MoM in February 2020. The yield on 5-year bond went down to 9.01% (-0.17pp MoM), that for a 2-year bond fell
to 9.04% (-0.27pp MOM), while the yield for 1-year bond stood at 8.89% (-0.19pp
Similar tendency continued in the beginning of March as well, when the yields on 2Y T-bills retreated to 8.84% (-0.17pp compared to the previous auction on February
25, 2020). Declining rates on government securities may be reflecting the expectation of some monetary policy easing in 2020 as well as increased demand, also on the back of higher appetite from non-residents.
On Friday’s trading session, TBC Bank Group PLC (TBCG LN) shares closed at GBP 12.38, down by 10.8% WoW. During the week, 450.3 thousand shares traded on the
London Stock Exchange.
During the week 362.1 thousand of Bank of Georgia Group PLC (BGEO LN) shares traded, closing at GBP 15.66 (down by 10.9% WoW) on Friday’s trading session. Georgia Healthcare Group PLC (GHG LN) shares were down by 0.9% WoW closing at GBP 1.11 on Friday. During the week 343.9 thousand GHG shares changed hands
on the LSE.
On the London Stock Exchange 306.9 thousand Georgia Capital PLC (CGEO LN) shares were traded at GBP 7.09 per share (down by 3.8% WoW).