Dagong Credit Rating to Belarus
April 26, 2012, the Chinese rating agency Dagong Cregit Rating Co., Ltd. assigned to Belarus sovereign credit ratings \"BB +\" - for liabilities in the national currency and \"BB-\" - for liabilities in the foreign currency. The outlook is \"stable.\"
The decision was taken following the work of Dagong analysts in Belarus in February 2012. An agreement with the rating agency on assigning the sovereign credit rating to Belarus was signed in November 2011.
Assigning the sovereign credit rating, according to Dagong Credit Rating agency, will open up the financial markets of South-Eastern Asia to Belarus. The government is likely to place bonds on the stock exchanges and the OTC market among residents of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.
Moreover, the expansion of trade and investment and credit co-operation with Asian companies is expected, since, according to the Dagong evaluation, the sovereign credit ratings of Belarus is several notches higher than the credit ratings from agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
At present, Dagong Credit Rating is one of the major Chinese rating agencies that rates bonds of 10 thousand companies worth about $ 1 trillion and bank loans worth more than $ 110 billion.
For reference. According to the National Statistical Committee, the volume of foreign trade between Belarus and China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) decreased in January-February 2012 by 10%, compared to the previous year, to 358.322 million dollars. The exports of Belarusian goods fell by 24.8% to $ 56.583 million and the imports of Chinese goods declined by 6.5% to $ 301.739 million.
Direct Chinese investments into the Belarusian economy in 2011 reduced by 1.8 times, to $ 9,862 million.
As of January 1, 2012, China accounts for 8.3% of Belarus’ total external debt (in monetary terms, the external debt to China is about $ 2.824 billion). The major borrowers are the Belarusian government and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.