Updated at 21:13,24-10-2016

The national debt of Belarus increased by three times, but Foreign exchange reserves are decreasing

23-08-2010, 21:18

Disturbing tendencies in the sphere of external economic transactions are preserving this year in Belarus.

Foreign exchange reserves (Gold and foreign currency reserves), calculated by IMF methods, decreased during January- June of 2010 by 5,7%, down to 5,332 bln USD. In money terms - by 320 mln. USD, BelaPAN reports.

The decrease of Foreign exchange reserves (FX reserves) is nonrandom. A traditional negative factor existed in June: foreign currency demand of enterprises appreciably surpassed its supply.

In January- June, according to National Bank data, foreign currency demand from the side of entities of economic management surpassed its supply by 2,816 bln. USD.

Economic authorities of the country satisfy the difference between foreign currency demand and its supply at the expense of FX reserves.

Decreasing of FX reserves reflects negatively on the image of Belarus. The Methodology of the International Monetary Fund shows that the amount of Belarusian reserves is not enough today.

According to IMF recommendations the country’s reserves are to be equal to the volume of a three-month import. A month volume of Belarusian import made up 3,02 bln. USD in June. Correspondingly, Gold and foreign currency reserves of Belarus should, if to follow the IMF recommendations, make up 9 bln. USD today.

Modest FX reserves of Belarus continue to decrease, despite the fact, that the country is actively receiving external financial injections.

Thus, in the first half of 2010 Belarus received 625 mln. USD for shares of “Beltransgaz” in February, and credit resources of IMF for 670 mln. USD in March. The both sums were added into FX reserves.

However, nevertheless, Belarusian reserves decreased at the end of the first half year. According to the opinion of independent experts, one of the factors of FX reserves increase can again be an already actively applied instrument – foreign loans.

But the governmental plans concerning the increase of foreign debt are disturbing as for the last years Belarus has raised its foreign debt in many times.

Thus, in 2008 foreign debt increased by 58,9% in comparison with 2007 – up to 3,719 bln. USD. In 2009 Belarus increased its foreign debt in 2,1 times – up to 7,891 bln. USD. In the first half of 2010 foreign debt of Belarus continued to grow. For the first six months it grew up by 650 mln. – up to 8,54 bln. USD.

The outlined dynamics of sharp increase of foreign debt is quite disturbing. Economists pay attention to the fact that besides the state debt there exists an enormous foreign debt of business sector. The total foreign debt of Belarus made up 22,2 bln. USD on April, 1. Although three years earlier it was many times smaller – at the beginning of 2007 the total foreign debt of Belarus made up 6,84 bln. USD.