Belarus to introduce free market rules on currency exchange

A rehearsal trading session was held yesterday, at the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange to test deregulating currency market. An additional trading session which will determine market value of ruble is scheduled for September 14th.

Participants of the trading session did not make real deals, but only tested the new transaction system. Due to the foreign currency shortage in exchange offices, the black market became a real value setter. While a state regulation sets the exchange rate at the level of 5200 rubles for a dollar, the black market offers dollars for 10 000 rubles.

By the end of the year, a dollar will cost 6-7 thousand rubles, thinks Siarkhey Varyvoda the deputy-chairman of Belarusian Science Technology Association, tied to Belarusian opposition.

The value of dollar will go down indeed, thinks Siarkhey Chaly – a Belarusian economist. –Two weeks ago, the supply of foreign currencies was greater than demand for them at the black market. It means that players realized it’s high time they sold dollars to make their profit. – he added.

The decision by the National Belarusian Bank to use their foreign currency reserves to mitigate effects of speculations, can additionally contribute to decreasing the value of dollar. Just recently Belarusian central bank increased their reserves by half a billion dollars, thanks to a 300 million dollars loan from Azerbaijan and growing prices of precious metals.

Starting free trade of ruble will not solve all the economic problems of Belarus, such as foreign trade deficit, thinks Aleksander Sinkievich. – It is impossible to deal with the current [economic] situation just by manipulating currency exchange rates. Rather, real economic reforms are much needed. – he added.


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