Additional trading session at the Currency Exchange has been introduced
On 14 September the first additional trading session took place at the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange. Regardless of the demand exceeding the supply by far, the market value of USD has reached around Br 8,500, which is close to the previous month’s black market exchange rate (by 1.5 times higher than the official exchange rate).
On 14 September the first additional trading session took place at the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange. Regardless of the demand exceeding the supply by five times, the market value of USD has reached around Br 8,600.
Regardless of the demand exceeding the supply by five times, the market value of USD has reached around Br 8,600.
On the following day the Dollar exchange rate has lowered to Br 8500 (the turnover reached USD 15.964 million vs USD 3.298 million on 14 September). On the third day the market exchange rate stopped at Br 8,480 rubles per USD (turnover USD 27.21 million). The Russian ruble value fell by 1 ruble to Br 294, the Euro dropped to Br 12 140.
As of 14 September the Board of the National Bank of Belarus raised the refinancing rate from 27 percent to 30 percent per annum.
As of 14 September the Board of the National Bank of Belarus raised the refinancing rate from 27 percent to 30 percent per annum. The consistent increase of the cost of the borrowed money in the economy is intended to deter the customer’s demand for bank credits while trying to achieve a balanced exchange rate. At the same time, increased refinancing rate will become an additional stimulus for attracting savings in Belarusian rubles and reducing pressure on the exchange rates.
Some experts say the NBB very cautiously uses the administrative resource. For instance, the state-owned enterprises exporters are invited to sell the currency, while importers to wait. Moreover, enterprises per se do not take part in the trading session, only banks, which either owned by the government or dependent on it. Therefore the NBB is trying to increase the supply artificially and to knock down the demand. At the same time, all state media reports that the exchange rate will continue falling and will become closer to the official (Br 5200 per USD).
Commercial banks build in risks via the high spread between the buying and the selling price and do not guarantee the availability of currency, while the black market works with low spread and high turnover.
There is still a lack of currency in the banks’ currency exchange offices. In particular, banks operate only within the limits of the bought currency, and almost do not use their own funds. Regardless of the new exchange rates, the population is not queuing up to sell their currency, although there is a slight increase in sales against the background of the lack of queues of those willing to buy. Black market exchange rate has not disappeared: USD can be sold at Br 8,800 per USD (Br 8,200-8,300 in the banks) and bought at Br 9,000 (Br 9,200-9,500 in the banks, though not always available).
Therefore commercial banks build in risks via the high spread between the buying and the selling price and do not guarantee the availability of currency, while the black market works with low spread and high turnover.
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Makei participated in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Group initiative hosted by Warsaw. The Belarusian FM emphasized Belarus' interest in cooperation in the transport sector, which could be due to Belarus’ desire to export electricity surplus after Belarus finished construction of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. Minsk expressed concerns about Warsaw’s stance on the Belarusian NPP, as it refused to buy electricity from Belarus and supported Vilnius’ protest on this issue. Following accusations by the Belarusian leadership and the state media against western states, including Poland, of training "nationalist militants", Minsk did not agree on the visit of the European Parliament deputies from Lithuania and Germany to Belarus and to the NPP construction site near Ostrovets in particular. In addition, the Belarusian authorities have stepped up efforts to enforce education in Russian in Polish-language schools in Grodno and Vaukavysk. Should a rift in Belarusian-Polish relations persist, the Belarusian authorities are likely to step up the pressure on the Polish-speaking minority in Belarus.