Eurobonds rates increased
The escalation between Belarus and the EU resulted in undesirable financial results. Belarusian Eurobonds quotes went down. The yield on five-year Eurobonds increased from 10.08% to 10.74% per annum (on 1st March), on 7-year bonds – from 10.29% to 10.61% per annum (on 1st March).
The yield on bonds is considered a benchmark for the placement of new bonds. In other words, if today Belarus decides to place bonds in the European bond market foreign investors will agree to provide funds at 10.7% per annum. For instance, a week ago, before the escalation of the diplomatic conflict, funds could be attracted at 10.1% per annum. When a country borrows hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, even hundredths of a percent plays a big role.
Another important consequence is that due to the escalation a positive trend for Belarusian bonds has been interrupted, deteriorating chances to attract new funding.
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Makei participated in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Group initiative hosted by Warsaw. The Belarusian FM emphasized Belarus' interest in cooperation in the transport sector, which could be due to Belarus’ desire to export electricity surplus after Belarus finished construction of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. Minsk expressed concerns about Warsaw’s stance on the Belarusian NPP, as it refused to buy electricity from Belarus and supported Vilnius’ protest on this issue. Following accusations by the Belarusian leadership and the state media against western states, including Poland, of training "nationalist militants", Minsk did not agree on the visit of the European Parliament deputies from Lithuania and Germany to Belarus and to the NPP construction site near Ostrovets in particular. In addition, the Belarusian authorities have stepped up efforts to enforce education in Russian in Polish-language schools in Grodno and Vaukavysk. Should a rift in Belarusian-Polish relations persist, the Belarusian authorities are likely to step up the pressure on the Polish-speaking minority in Belarus.