The date of a new tranche from the ACF of the EurAsEC is still known
The head of the National Bank Nadezhda Ermakova said that the Belarusian authorities are hoping that thecooperation with the Anti-Crisis Fund will continue and that Belarus will receive all projected tranches. However, she could not name the date for the allocation of the third tranche (previously scheduled for the end of February).
The Belarusian authorities do not lose hope for the next tranche of the Anti-Crisis Fund of the EurAsEC loan, regardless of the de facto failure to commit to structural reforms in the economy, stated publicly. Mrs. Ermakova acknowledged that at the moment the country’s authorities disagreed with the ACF of the EurAsEC. She said the Anti-Crisis Fund required Belarus to tighten its economic policy, in the first place, hold structural reforms. She noted that “their basic claim is about the lack of structural transformations, which implies a transition from state to private ownership”. However, Mrs. Ermakova said that “we use our own brain and see for ourselves where we need changes and where they are not necessary”. Therefore large and small-scale privatization, deregulation, abolition of administrative performance indicators and permits become a cornerstone not only in talks between Belarus and the IMF, but also in Belarus and ACF relations. Approximation of requirements of the largest creditors of Belarus narrows down the room for maneuver for the Belarusian authorities to successful sale of strategic assets and hope for a favorable foreign economic conjuncture. Meanwhile, the grounds for the authorities’ ambitions are unclear: investors can disagree with the Belarusian prices for the main assets and prices on potash and oil may stop growing. At the same time, Belarus needs to service and repay her earlier loans, which requires steady inflow of currency into the country. Accordingly, the Belarusian authorities will have to negotiate with their creditors and to find compromises already in 2013.
The National Bank estimates the cost of servicing of the gross external debt in 2012 to USD 18 billion 917 million, or 34.6% of the GDP. In 2011 the country spent USD 6.3207 billion on servicing of the gross external debt, including repayment of the principal loan – USD 5 billion 405.2 million; interest payments of USD 915.5 million. The gross external debt service cost during the reporting period amounted to 11.6% of the GDP and 13.5% of exports of goods and services. Country’s gold reserve as of 1st of March amounted to USD 8.016 billion. One third of the reserve was formed by the National Bank from debts to the banks of the country. In 2013 the cost of debt service payments will increase even more.