Belarus

EDB investment portfolio

01/11/2018

27 projects

$990.6 million

13.8 of the total

EFSD investment portfolio

06/30/2017

2 projects

$4 560 million

82.1% of the total


Belarus became a full member of Eurasian Development Bank in June 2010. Its contribution to the Bank’s capital is US $15 million.

Trends

GDP

According to the National Statistics Committee, the Republic of Belarus’ economic growth in 2Q 2018 compared with the corresponding quarter of last year amounted to 3.9% (5.2% for the quarter before).

GDP trends in 2Q 2018 were driven by the following factors:

  • slowing investment activity. The annual growth rate of investment in fixed assets in 2Q 2018 was 7.1%, compared with 20.8% a quarter earlier. The slowdown in investment activity may reflect a gradual change in enterprises’ economic sentiment, as recorded by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus2;
  • high consumer activity. Retail trade turnover in 2Q 2018 increased by 10.1% compared with the same period in 2017, versus 9.7% growth one quarter earlier. Consumer demand was supported by continued high lending activity and growth in household incomes;
  • the growth in industrial production in 2Q 2018 slowed to 6.2%, after 9.4% a quarter earlier. Against a backdrop of enterprises’ declining economic sentiment, a slowdown in growth was observed in most manufacturing industries. The largest drop was recorded in petroleum products output, owing to the receding low base effect of last year due to the resolution in April 2017 of the “gas conflict” between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation.

The persistence of high economic growth rates and the macroeconomic balance in general led to international rating agency Fitch’s confirmation in July 2018 of Belarus’ credit rating of “B” with a stable outlook for debt in both domestic and foreign currency.

Inflation

Annual inflation in 2Q 2018 slowed to a new historic low and amounted to 4.1% in June. According to our estimates, slowing inflation in April-June 2018 was temporary and mainly due to the impact of climatic factors. Core inflation accelerated slightly in 2Q (to 3.1% YoY in June, compared with 3% YoY in March 2018), but still remains at historically low levels. High consumer demand and accelerated price growth for certain commodities continued to exert pressure on core inflation. A restraining factor was the strengthening of the Belarusian ruble and the persistence of low inflation in Russia.

Exchange Rate

The slowdown in economic activity in April-May 2018 contributed to a decrease in 2Q of net demand for foreign currency on the part of businesses, which amounted to USD 92 million (USD 386.6 million a quarter earlier). Net foreign currency supply from individuals increased in 2Q, which could be due to deferred demand for tourism. As a result, the Republic of Belarus’ domestic currency market had a net supply of foreign currency in 2Q 2018, which, among other factors, contributed to the increase in the level of international reserve assets.

As of July 1, 2018, the volume of gold and foreign currency reserves amounted to USD 6.8314 billion, having fallen since early April 2018 by USD 163.3 million. The decrease in international reserve assets was due to the scheduled repayment by the National Bank and the government of Belarus of foreign currency obligations (about USD 1.1 billion in 2Q 2018).

The appearance of a net supply in the foreign exchange market had a strengthening influence on the Belarusian ruble’s exchange rate. The value of the basket of currencies calculated at weighted average rates in 2Q 2018 decreased by 3.5% compared with the previous quarter. The Belarusian ruble has shown its strongest strengthening against the Russian ruble, which is due to the weakening of the Russian currency in the international currency market after the introduction of additional US sanctions in April. As a result, the annual weakening of the real effective rate of the Belarusian ruble in 2Q 2018 slowed to 1% compared with 6.1% a quarter earlier.

High domestic demand growth rates with high import intensity led to a decrease in 2Q 2018 of the positive balance of trade in goods and services to USD 12.6 million, compared with USD 412.5 million a year earlier. The deterioration in the balance was due to an increase in the negative trade balance, while the positive balance of trade in services continued to increase.

 

Fiscal Policy

Favorable price conditions on the oil market and continued high consumer activity led to the creation of a significant surplus in the republic’s budget, which in JanuaryJune 2018 amounted to BYR 2.7 billion, or 4.8% of GDP (BYR 1.3 billion, or 2.7% of GDP, a year earlier). The main contribution to the expansion of the budget surplus came from an increase in revenues from foreign economic activity by 51% YoY and value added tax by 27% YoY.

Monetary Policy

A slowing of inflation to historically low levels and the prediction by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus that inflation processes will remain stable within target levels through to the end of the current year and in the medium term allowed the regulator to lower the refinancing rate in June 2018, by 0.5 p.p. to 10%.

Lending activity in 2Q 2018 remained high, but its expansion began to gradually slow down. The issuance of ruble loans by banks in 2Q 2018 increased by 39.3% compared with the corresponding quarter of last year, while in 1Q 2018 the annual growth was 59.8%.

The higher yield of ruble deposits compared with foreign currency, given continuing low inflation and a stable Belarusian ruble to the US dollar exchange rate, led to a further influx of fixed term ruble deposits from the population, the share of which in all banking deposits in June 2018 amounted to 18%, an increase for the year of 1 p.p. (for the quarter – 0.7 p.p.). As a result, the level of dollarization of the broad money supply continued to decline and the share of the ruble component in June 2018 increased to 37.5%, compared with 26.9% a year earlier.

16 October 2018
An expert group from the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), as the Resources Manager of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD, Fund), visited Minsk on 2-5 October with a programme monitoring mission and consultations on amending the government’s reform programme supported by the EFSD financial credit, as regards the measures necessary to be fulfilled for the final, seventh tranche of the credit
12 October 2018
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), acting as the Resources Manager of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD, Fund), extended the sixth tranche of the EFSD financial credit, totalling US $200 million, to Belarus. The country has already disbursed US $1.8 billion (including previous instalments) out of the total of US $2 billion envisioned to support its reform programme
06 August 2018
The net profits of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) amounted to US $37.542 million in the first half of 2018, while the target fixed in the bank's strategy until 2022 for the whole year is at US $32 million
25 July 2018
The EDB announces the completion of the technical issue of 001P-01 bond of the nominal value of RUB 10 billion at the Moscow Stock Exchange under the programme (identification number 4-00002-L-001P-02E of 14 June 2018). The coupon rate is 7.60% per annum, the yield is 7.74%. The bond maturity is 1.5 years
19 July 2018
The Council of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD), based on the outcomes of voting by correspondence, has approved the EFSD Annual Report 2017. The EFSD Annual report includes information on the activities undertaken by the Eurasian Development Bank in its capacity of the EFSD Resources Manager and related to manging and administering the EFSD resources in 2017
17 July 2018
Andrey Beliyaninov, Chairman of the Management Board of the Eurasian Development Bank, will talk at the Financing the Real Sector of the Economy Business Forum to take place on 19 July in Moscow
16 July 2018
Applications are invited for enrolment to the International Eurasian Integration School 2018 titled The Eurasian Economic Union: Contouring the Future. The school has been launched by the Russian International Affairs Council, the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, the Eurasian Economic Commission, and the Eurasian Development Bank
25 June 2018
The Council of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) approved the Bank’s new mid-term strategy for 2018-2022. The meeting was chaired by Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Chair of the EDB Council
04 June 2018
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) opened a correspondent account for domestic payments in the Belarussian roubles with the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. The Bank is also negotiating access to transactions at the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange
04 June 2018
The Eurasian Development Bank’s (EDB) delegation headed by Andrey Beliyaninov, Chairman of the Management Board, took part in the Third Annual Meeting of the New Development Bank (NDB) in Shanghai on 28-29 May

Minsk Representative Office

Address:
70 Myasnikov St., office 310, Minsk, 220030, Republic of Belarus

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