Credit portfolio of commercial banks deteriorated
Decree № 306 provides for the reimbursement of costs to agro and processing enterprises for purchasing crops in 2011 in the total amount of Br 2.8 trillion.
The share of “troubled” loans in the credit portfolio of the Belarusian banks increased up to 1.18% by 1 June 2011 as compared with 0.94% of 1 June 2010, the overall amount increased in January-May 2011 by 2.5 times, up to Br 1.714 trillion. The part of overdue debt was 52.8% on June 1, against 25.1% at the beginning of 2011.
In January-May 2011 the Belarusian banks increased their credit portfolio by 36.4%, up to Br 145.814 trillion.
Economic and monetary crisis has only started affecting commercial banks. Due to the state’s policy of shifting of financial burden partially on concessional financing and subsidizing of the Belarusian economy by commercial banks, as well as its unwillingness to cease concessional financing of agriculture and housing, the financial state of commercial banks will continue deteriorating gradually. A lot will depend on population’s confidence in the existing policies. If the trend with withdrawal of foreign currency deposits continues, it is possible that by autumn-winter a large-scale banking crisis will unfold. The largest state owned banks: Belarusbank and Belagroprombank are at highest risk in this regard.
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.