National Bank to determine upper margin of interest rates on loans and deposits
On June 1st, 2015, banks will incur additional costs if they set deposit rates above 33% per annum or issue individual loans at a rate above 46% and corporate loans – above 40% per annum. With its decision, the National Bank intends to stimulate lending to the economy. As a result, interest rates in the banking system will reduce and deposits’ growth will slow down due to the weakening of the national currency in May 2015. In addition, the National Banks anticipates revitalisation of lending to the private sector in the national currency and reduction of net foreign currency sales due to conversion of rouble deposits into foreign currency. The rate on overnight loans is regulated by the National Bank and will continue to decline in the view of potentially negative reaction from the population to reduction in the yield from rouble deposited in the Belarusian banking system.
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.