New terms of gas supplies from Russia could prompt more Eurobonds issues by Belarus in 2017
Gazprom has announced an increase in the natural gas price for Belarus from USD 132 in 2016 to USD 141.1 per 1,000 cubic metres as of January 1st, 2017. The price of gas is tied to the cost of gas in the Russian Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, 70% of the gas price make transportation and storage. Negotiations about Belarus’ overdue debt for the gas supply from Russia are likely to continue; electricity tariffs for private and legal persons are likely to go up, while largest industrial enterprises are likely to increase non-payment for energy resources; and financial health at some chemical and metallurgical enterprises is likely to deteriorate. On average, Belarus consumes 19-22 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, so an increase in the gas price will require additional currency resources circa USD 170 million, which could prompt Belarus to issue Eurobonds for this amount in 2017.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.