Belarus unable to lower currency prices

Experts think that first tranche of Eurasian Economic Commonwealth credit for Belarus is not enough to stabilize domestic currency at the exchange rate of 5.000 rubles for a dollar. The National Bank of Belarus believes that setting such rate will stabilize currencies market. Sergie Chaly, a financial analyst, disagrees, claiming that ruble should be flexible, just as the IMF has recommended. What is more, the first tranche of a EaEC (800 million dollars) is most probably not meant for the currency market. – The authorities stressed numerous times that they want to use it as safety cushion – Chaly said in an interview with Belsat.

Boris Zaliba, a Belorussian economist is also critical of the government’s economic steps. He believes that the frist tranche of the credit should be used to maintain the current exchange rate, which in reality has already exceeded the rate of 5.000 rubles for a dollar. The foreign currencies deficit causes the delayed demand, meaning people are ready to pay even double the price for dollars. If that happens, Belarus might face a collapse of its fiancial system.

Zaliba stressed that the amount of 800 million dollars is not enough to lower the price of dollar to 5 thousand rubles. – This is also a violation of the terms imposed by the IMF. They demand that we establish balanced rates. Setting a value of a dollar at the level of 5.000 rubles is a step back – he added. Zaliba told Belsat that currently price of a dollar at the black market is between 6.000 and 6.500 Belorussian rubles, and in the non-cash transactions dollar costs between 7.000 and 8.000. Zaliba also stressed that in Belarus a currency market was subjected to a complete state control, the administration decides who can sell and who can buy foreign currencies.

The IMF encouraged Belorussian authorities to liberalize the control over the currency market and to subject Belorussian ruble to the free market fluctuations. This is one of the conditions that Belarus would have to meet if she wants to receive a credit from the IMF. Belarus has been struggling with a serious currnency deficit since the beginning of the year. At the end of April, the National Bank decided to introduce 50% ruble devaluation. Despite such a drastic steps, foreign currencies are still absent from Belorussian market.


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