Two-month break for Belarus’ international reserves
According to the National Bank, Belarus’ international reserves as of August 1st, totalled USD 6.2 billion, USD 216.8 less than on June 1st, 2014.
Partly, the international reserves have languished due to the National Bank’s gold operations; in July 2014, Belarus received USD 450 mln from the Russian government, i.e. de facto, the reserves have shrunk by USD 550 million. In the coming months, the international reserves should not diminish so rapidly – in August and September Belarus is not due considerable public debt payments. In addition, high demand for Belarusian ruble will persist and the National Bank will continue its policy of smoothly depreciating the ruble against the USD. Potentially, foreign currency lending to the economy might be expanded. The main risk is the potential significant weakening of the Russian ruble, which will have a negative impact on the foreign exchange earnings by Belarusian exporters and will reduce Belarusian goods’ competitiveness on the Russian market.