`Haypost’ and `Postbank’ to be integrated structures

Mediamax Agency, Armenia
Aug 19 2007

`Haypost’ and `Postbank’ to be integrated structures

Interview of the Trustee Manager of `HayPost’ Company Hans Boon to
Mediamax Agency and Banks.am web-portal (Yerevan, 20.08.2007)

– The transfer of large backbone companies to trust management is a
new tool for Armenian economy. Will you, please, uncover on the
example of `HayPost’ the peculiarities of the given tool, its
advantages and the possible risks, as well as the mutual commitments,
which make the basis of the trust relationship?

– The government of Armenia made a courageous decision, transferring
to trust management a major company, such as `HayPost’. The trust
management will be realized in the course of 5 years, and it is
basically aiming at establishing favorable conditions for the further
commercialization of `HayPost’.

In this connection, we will be coming across certain risks. The first
and one of the most important risks is that the both sides might
expect early dividends. In reality, however, our aim is not to gain
immediate profit, but to increase the potential to secure the further
growth and commercialization. We are largely guided by a long-term
prospect and will consider a success the final result and not the
immediate profit.

In fact, the point is the strengthening and the commercialization of
the whole sector of postal services, and not an individual company.
Thus, we should also think about setting up a fair and favorable
basis for the further competition.

In the end, we have to be sure that in a relatively short period of
time `HayPost’ will be able to provide the population with
international level postal services, which, as a matter of fact, is
our basic commitment.

– More that 8 months have passed since the agreement on the transfer
of `HayPost’ CJSC to the Dutch `HayPost Trust Management’ for trust
management was signed. Which were your main achievements during this
period and what do you plan to accomplish by the end of the year?

– I believe that in this case it is more correct to talk about the
achievements, which are visible . For instance, the opening of the
first renovated post office in the center of Yerevan is, figuratively
speaking, only the top of the iceberg. We have carried out certain
work for improving the quality of postal services and the very
process of postal delivery., If you have sent a letter within Yerevan
today before 18:00 o’clock, tomorrow morning the letter must be
received by the addressee. Within Armenia, the addressee will receive
your letter on the third day after you send it. The given indicators
were reached due to the reorganization of the process of mail.

A special service of receiving electronic files from the customer,
printing those out and then further mailing to a large number of
addressees started functioning in `HayPost’. It is a very convenient
tool for the business clients .

More services will be provided in the sphere of money transfers as
well, which will become an basis for opening the `PostBank’. We also
plan to provide the customers with services of buying goods by
catalogues, which will be delivered by post.

Besides, much work is carried out inside the company. This work is
not visible for the large public. We conclude contracts with foreign
partners; discuss prospects of cooperation with foreign financial

Much time and means are invested in the reformation of the very
structure, in building the human capital by the `top-down’ model.

– The population usually distrusts the arrival of new owners or
managers, being afraid of growth of tariffs. Are there grounds for
such concern in the case of `HayPost,’ and how do you assess the
tariffs, which exists today?

– I can confidently say that the fact of `HayPost’ Company’s transfer
to trust management will not lead to the growth of tariffs for
traditional postal services. In the sphere of postal services, we
have a certain monopoly and we should be extremely careful while
establishing the prices and the tariffs.

Our most important task is to make the postal services available for
people with all kinds of income, especially when we talk about the
traditional services. I should also note that despite the economy
changes of the recent years, the tariffs for postal services have not
changed in the country since 2001.

The problem with the prices of postal services is the fact that today
in Armenia there is an extremely small volume of postings – according
to the statistical data, there is one postal item per year for one
person in Armenia. If we increase the volumes, we will manage to
continue working with low prices. That is why we give special
importance to increasing of the volumes of postings, and this implies
the increase of quality and formation of the image of `HayPost’ as a
reliable company.

At the same time, we have a few special services, for example,
registered mail, which we provide by a lower price than its real cost
is. In this connection, we want to inform the society that in case of
special services, certain changes are possible towards the increase
of the tariffs.

We want to work out a reasonable price policy, based on real business
calculations, and we hold joint work in that direction with the
Committee on Regulations of Public Cervices.

– Nevertheless, don’t you think that the tariffs for traditional
postal services existing in the country are quite high? Fore example,
it is cheaper to send a letter from Germany to Armenia, than vice

– Indeed, in Armenia, as compared to western countries, the tariffs
for main services are high, but the tariffs for special services are
much lower than in the West. Thus, we should not talk about the
increase or decrease of tariffs, but about their being balanced and
corresponding to certain logic.

For instance, if we are sending a letter from Armenia to Germany or
vice versa, the tariff is composed of two components. If the letter
goes to Germany from Armenia, Armenia should pay a certain sum to the
German post and vice versa. We should balance the volumes of the
given payments.

The second component, which influences the tariffs – is the fee for
transport carriers. At this stage, we should take into consideration
all the aspects and balance the tariffs for basic and special

It is possible that after the reconsideration of all the links of the
chain, we will get an opportunity to decrease the tariffs for basic,
traditional postings.

– Speaking during the ceremony of signing the agreement on the
transfer of `HayPost’ CJSC to trust management to `HayPost Trust
Management’, Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia Tigran Sarkisian
stated that the development program, elaborated together with the
Dutch ING Group, provides for implementing 18 postal services on the
Armenian market instead of the former two. What new services are
already implemented and what services may be expected in the nearest

– As I already mentioned, for the diversification of the range of
services, we should in the first place think about improving the
quality of the existing ones. If the baker bakes bad bread, you
should agree that you would never buy his cake.

One of the most important components we work on is the increase of
the opportunities and the options of money transfers. We are at a
stage of signing contracts with large international financial
institutions in the USA, Europe and Russia.

An agreement is signed on the membership in EuroGiro network, which
will give an opportunity to increase the volumes of money transfers.
As a result, the post will become a `supermarket’ of remittances and
money transfers.

Work is carried out to modernize the post offices, which will be
providing services of internet access, thus also extending the
spectrum of the services.

– The efficiency of a postal organization in many respects depends on
the development of transport infrastructures. Armenia has been in
transport blockade for over 15 years. To what degree is the influence
of this fact on the efficiency of `HayPost’ services?

– This is a very serious problem not only for `HayPost’, bust also
for the whole economy of the country. Holland, where I come from, is
comparable to Armenia as to its territory, but it is completely open
for trade with the outside world. Whereas, direct sea and railway
communication are absent in Armenia. The main way of transferring the
mail is the air, less frequently – the automobile transportation.

In case of air transportation, we come across the problem of absence
of everyday flights in certain directions. This means that we cannot
always guarantee that the postings will reach the addressee in time.

In the existing situation, there comes up the necessity to develop an
integrated chain of supplies. For example, let us take the mechanism
of sales by catalogues – `HayPost’ should take upon itself the
function of the provider of the given services to the Armenian
market, fulfilling the role of the mediator and the transporter at
the same time.

– Recently, you opened the first renovated post office in Yerevan.
How many such offices will appear in Armenia by the end of the year?

– We work on developing of various formats of post offices. The post
office on Toumanian Street, the presentation of which took place
recently, is a middle-size city-type office, which provides a set of
commercial and the whole complex of postal services.

We also elaborate the models of the so-called postal supermarkets,
which will represent a shop inside a shop – in the post office,
beside the particularly postal service, you will be offered a large
range of commercial services as well.

Work is carried out to establish the so-called points of postal
services – small post offices, located in supermarkets.

By the end of the year, some 3-4 more post offices of middle size
will be opened; work is carried out to open two mini-post offices in
Yerevan. To open large post supermarkets, we need more time, taking
into consideration the large volume of the work.

– What role do you give to IT-technologies in the process of
modernization of postal services?

– The improvement of IT-component is one of the basic elements of our
work. Having 900 post offices all over the country, we should be
confident that all those offices work reliably inside one single
network as a single constitution.

Besides, the post should not only play the role of a provider of
postal services, but also give the opportunity of internet access for
the whole population of the country.

– During the recent meeting with OMX Group in Yerevan, you talked
about the plans of `HayPost’ of entering the market of securities.
How do the matters stand in that direction?

– `HayPost’ plans to start independent work on the market of capital
in the course of the nearest 1.5-2 years. We plan to hold the
placement of bonds of the company, participate in setting up mutual
funds, which are a kind of an alternative to savings accounts. The
given tool will become a basis for the further pension reforms in

-To what degree the function of `HayPost’ will change with the
arrival of `PostBank’? Figuratively speaking, where will the
functions of `HayPost’ end, and the functions of `PostBank’ begin?

– The post will never become a branch or a department of the bank.
However, in our concrete case the specific nature is that in post
offices you will always manage to use the standard financial
services. Even today, the population has the opportunity to make
certain kinds of payments in post offices. One may say that this is
already a service of `PostBank’.

With the arrival of `PostBank’ the services in the sphere of payments
will become more effective, transparent and insured from any possible

`HayPost’ and `PostBank’ will be integrated structures: for example,
the office, where the operators are, will be single for the customers
of `HayPost’ and `PostBank’. And if you come to the post office and
express a wish to open a banking account, the postal operator will
give you a blank to be filled in, but the decision on opening the
account will be made by `PostBank’, which will be the one working
with the customer in future.

The functions on managing the financial means will be attached to
`PostBank’, and `HayPost’ will take up the role of a mediator, an

One should not consider the post office as a branch of bank; The Post
Offices will be fulfilling only the functions of sale points.
Moreover, the post offices will not provide you such services as
granting mortgage and business credits. That will b e done in the
headquarters of the Post Bank.

-When will `PostBank’ start functioning in Armenia?

-We hope that in fall we will announce the definite dates of opening
the `PostBank’. Today we carry out work with the Central Bank of
Armenia on obtaining licenses and registering the bank.

Simultaneously, we go thorough testing of all the components and
services, of `PostBank’ and will be doing this until we are
completely sure that we have eliminated any possibility of making
even minor mistakes.