Belarusian banking sector to reduce credit cost for successful enterprises to discount rate in early 2017
The average interest rate on rouble loans for legal persons in October 2016 was 21.8%, which is 12.4 percentage points lower compared with interest rates in December 2015. Low demand for credit resources amid higher budget expenditures has led to a sustainable excess liquidity. On November 16th, 2016, the National Bank allocated BYN 1 billion for a 28-day period at 12% per annum. Interest rates on currency and rouble loans are likely to continue to decline; household deposits in the banking system are likely to reduce and banks are likely to tighten rules for assessing credit risks when granting loans to enterprises. Banks are likely to restructure loans in order to fight bad debts. The state may tighten game rules for the banking sector, which means that successful businesses are likely to be able to receive credit resources at the discount rate in Q1 2017 due to lower bank profitability.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.