Belarus

EDB investment portfolio

01/03/2019

28 projects

$1 015.5 million

13.1 of the total

EFSD investment portfolio

01/02/2019

2 projects

$4 560 million

84% 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

Economic growth slowed to 2.3% YoY in 3Q2018, from 3.9% YoY a quarter before. The overall GDP growth in January to September 2018 was 3.7% YoY.

The main factor behind the economic activity slowdown was a decline in agricultural produce output of 4.7% YoY in 3Q2018. The fall of the sector’s output is mainly attributable to 2018 year’s adverse weather conditions and low harvest.

The industrial output growth rate remained fairly high, at 4.8% YoY, in the reporting quarter. However, some slowdown in production activity has been observed as the recovery period comes to an end.

Consumer demand remained strong in 3Q2018 as indicated by a 7.5% YoY increase in retail turnover. Consumer demand is still being supported by increasing real wages, that grew by 11.1% YoY in the 3Q2018.

The economic recovery in 2017–2018 led the S&P rating agency to keep the credit ratings of the Republic of Belarus for liabilities in foreign and national currency at the B/B level in October, with a ‘stable’ outlook.

Inflation

In the 3Q2018 inflation accelerated to 5.6% YoY in September (vs. 4.1% YoY in June). Consumer price growth was driven by some foods, mainly meat and meat products, by fuel as well as higher inflation in Russia and high consumer activity.

According to the National Bank’s surveys, inflationary expectations remain high, which poses a major risk of the inflation targets being overshot in the medium term. In November 2018, the 12-month inflation level expected by the households was 12.6%, vs. 11.7% in August.

External Sector

The weakening of the Russian ruble in the world currency market in the second half of August and September 2018 had a significant impact on the Belarusian foreign exchange market. While a net supply of foreign currency continued into July and August (some USD 430 million), there was net demand in September (some USD 180 million).

The change in the Belarussian foreign exchange market affected movements in the nominal Belarusian ruble exchange rate. In 3Q2018 the price of the basket of foreign currencies calculated from their weighted average exchange rates decreased, mainly on account of the Belarusian ruble’s strengthening vs. the Russian ruble. The real effective exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble strengthened by 2.7% versus the preceding quarter (4.7% vs. 3Q 2017).

The surplus of foreign trade in goods and services in 3Q2018 was USD 571.5 million, almost four times as much as in the same period the previous year. The main contributing factors behind the surplus’s expansion included higher prices for export goods and continued expansion of the trade surplus in services.

In 3Q2018, international reserve assets increased by USD 95 million to reach USD 6,926.4 million on 1 October. The growth in reserve assets was driven by foreign exchange purchases by the National Bank on the currency exchanges in July and August, as well as the receipt of export duties and revenues from foreign currency bonds placed by the National Bank and Ministry of Finance in the domestic market. The growth of reserves was hindered by the repayment of foreign currency liabilities (some USD 1 billion in 3Q2018) by the National Bank and Government of Belarus.

In September the CCXI rating agency of China assigned credit ratings to the Republic of Belarus: АА+ with a ‘stable’ outlook on the Chinese scale and BBg on the international scale. Obtaining a Chinese national rating is a pre-condition for the Republic of Belarus to carry out a planned placement of its bonds in the Chinese stock market.

Fiscal Policy

The Republic’s budget posted a surplus of 3.4 billion Belarusian rubles, or 3.8% of GDP, in January to September 2018 (2.5 billion rubles, or 3.3% of GDP, the year before)1.

Budget income increased by 31.6% YoY in January to September 2018. The increase in world prices of the main Belarusian export commodities led to significant growth of export duty income, while high and persistent consumer activity promoted the growth of the VAT and excise receipts.

Budget expenditure increased by 18.6% in January to September 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Furthermore, capital expenditure grew by 46.1% YoY in that period. The increase in capital expenses, if efficient, may promote further recovery of the potential growth rates in the Belarusian economy.

Monetary Policy

In the 3Q2018, the refinancing rate was kept at the 10% level. The regulator explained that it had suspended its refinancing rate reduction cycle due to increased inflationary pressure, mainly from the external sector.

The credit and deposit market rates were virtually the same in July to September 2018 as in the preceding quarter. Lending activity remains high, and accelerating inflation with the nominal interest rates unchanged may have a stimulative effect on lending in the short term.

The dollarization of bank deposits continued its decrease in the 3Q 2018. The share of foreign currency deposits in the total volume of deposits placed by residents with banks in September 2018 was 65.7%, versus 66.1% in June.

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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