Individuals will be allowed to trade foreign currency directly on stock exchange
The BCSE Chairman of the Board announced, that by late H1 2017, legal entities and private persons would have the opportunity to trade on the BCSE directly, without the mediation of the banks. Currently, only legal entities are allowed to buy currency at the stock exchange and are obliged to pay bank commission for placing orders and purchasing currency. Meanwhile, individuals are responsible for about 30% of daily turnover on the currency market. The new rule would allow legal persons and individuals to save costs when buying foreign currency, profitability of the banking system is likely to reduce due to the reduced currency turnover, the legal cash flow of foreign currency is likely to reduce, and exchange offices of banks in major cities are likely to reduce in number. Shadow currency market in Belarus is likely to continue its existence due to the reluctance of individuals to disclose the size of their savings to the authorities.
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.