Standard & Poor's rated Belarusbank at «B-»
Standard & Poor’s affirmed the largest Belarusian bank Belarusbank’s credit rating at «B-» with a stable outlook. The affirmation is due to Belarusbank’s business profile and financial performance stability despite the difficult operating conditions in Belarus.
The ratings on Belarusbank are constrained by the sovereign foreign currency credit ratings on Belarus, because the bank operates exclusively within the country and remains highly exposed to sovereign-related risk.
The bank’s stand-alone credit profile (SACP), at ’b’, is, however, one notch higher than the rating on Belarus, having improved after a capital increase in late 2011. JSC Savings Bank Belarusbank’s capitalization has strengthened following a Belarusian ruble 12.9 trillion Tier 1 capital injection by the Belarus government on December 30, 2011.
The rating agency believes Belarusbank plays a \"very important\" role for, and has a \"very strong\" link with, the government, resulting in a \"very high\" likelihood of government support in the event of need.. Despite a government announcement that it will allow the privatization of a minority stake in the bank, Standard & Poor’s analysts consider it highly unlikely in current market conditions.
The Belarusian authorities could to step up the opposition representation in local councils, should party members demonstrate potency. The Belarusian leadership is unlikely to have the resources to ensure 100 percent pro-government candidates in the local elections. The authorities have exhausted the grassroot support and have no funds to pay for the loyalty.
The Belarusian Central Election Commission has proposed to hold the elections to the local Councils of Deputies on February 18th, 2018.
The president has repeatedly emphasised the importance of the local councils in the power system and the state machine always tried to ensure the necessary local election results. Candidates have been decreasing in number with each elections and the authorities dealt with that by reducing the deputy corps. That said, during the rule of President Lukashenka, his electoral base has changed substantially. Over the past decade, most Belarusians have moved to cities and lost their local roots. The rural population is ready to support the president, but rural residents are constantly decreasing in number.
The Belarusian leadership is likely to permit broad participation in the election campaign and an increase in alternative representatives in the local councils. However, the opposition would have to boost its activity, so as so far it has been passive in defending its interests. In addition, the authorities, while determining the date for the local elections, have taken into account the fact that the opposition is usually the least active in the winter time.
Overall, both, the opposition and the local authorities have exhausted their grassroot support, however new local leaders may still come on political stage, although the party opposition has not yet shown sufficient aspirations.