Bahdankevich: Fears of another devaluation remain relevant
Belarus is stirred up by rumours about another devaluation of ruble, which could happen in October.
Views of experts on the future of the ruble’s exchange’s rate are published by "Zavtra tvoej strany".
The spokesperson of the National Bank of Belarus Anatol Drazdou is convinced: there will be no devaluation this year.
- It has been promised by the head of the National bank Pyotr Prakapovich and Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Is it possible they could deceive the people? – the head of the informational department, the spokesperson of the National Bank thinks optimistically.
As said by Barys Zheliba, Doctor of Science, Economics, such fearless venturous predictions are made by the National Bank representatives as the bank system still has reserves – foreign loans which hasn’t been spent, and a hope for new loans.
- If the National Bank would receive the promised foreign currency loans from the IMF and Russia, they will keep the word, - the economist is convinced.
As is known, Belarus expects two more tranches for $1.35 billion from the IMF before the end of this year, and the last tranche of the Russian loan of $500 mln.
- In January devaluation took place by the way of a discretionary decision – reminds the former head of the National Bank of Belarus Stanislau Bahdankevich. – The authorities were able to support the exchange rate of ruble, but they could free it. Then the main reason for the collapse of the ruble was trade balance deficit. This cause hasn’t been eliminated yet, moreover, the trade balance deficit has increased, so the fears of a new devaluation remain relevant. But there is no use to carry it out this year: foreign loans haven’t been spent yet.
Barys Zheliba, Doctor of Science, Economics, does not exclude the possibility of a lower exchange rate of ruble to other currencies in 2010.
- It would be difficult to underpin the stability of ruble having no new currency credits, - he believes. – The main reason is today the prospects of Belarusian goods and raw materials’ export are very vague now.
The expert says that it would be good for Belarus world oil prices to reach $70 per barrel, as the key export item and one third of all foreign currency returns of the country are oil products, and oil refineries are working stably today. But it is very difficult to forecast oil prices, as Barys Zheliba says. Another export item is potassium fertilizers. At the moment not only their manufacturing is decreased, but their costs are dwindling. Recently its cost dropped from $600 per ton to $460 per ton. And things look black for MTZ, MAZ and BelAZ, as their storehouses are full of non-distributed stocks.
The former head of the National Bank of Belarus Stanislau Bahdankevich attracts attention to serious problems that could be faced in the bank sphere in the next year because of failure to return loans by Belarusian enterprises.
- I do not trust the figures offered by banks concerning doubtful loans repayment, Stanislau Bahdankevich says. – Doubtful loans and assets should grow, as the crisis is taking place; non-distributed stocks of enterprises have grown, accounts receivable has increased. But they do not have such figures. It shows that banks are most likely to carry out restructuring of debts – the debts that are to be returned today, are allowed to be returned with a three-year respite. But when banks would have no money, it would become one of the factors of weakening of the financial sector in general and of the ruble in particular. And it can collapse.