Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

Authorities may consider next year change in rubel's denominations


The government may explore next year the possibility of knocking zeroes off the country’s currency, Nadzeya Yermakova, head of the National Bank of Belarus (NBB), said during her last week's visit to a kitchenware plant in Slutsk, Minsk region.

Ms. Yermakova predicted that conditions next year would likely be favorable for considering a change in the rubel's denominations, news website said.

The NBB head also announced that the adoption of the Russian ruble by Belarus was not under consideration. The official said that she personally opposed the introduction of the Russian currency.

In addition, Ms. Yermakova spoke about the financial sector's performance, housing and university tuition loans, and the use of Belarusian plastic cards for making payments abroad.

Speaking in March this year, Ms. Yermakova warned that the Belarusian economy must fully recover from last year's crisis before the government could carry out a redenomination of the rubel.

"Given the [rubel's] devaluation that we had last year one cannot speak today about a redenomination," she said. "We must fully restore the economy, put the monetary system in order, so that we have interest rates below at least 10 percent." Ms. Yermakova warned that any change in a currency's denominations always leads to higher inflation.

There have been two currency redenominations in the history of independent Belarus, in August 1994 and January 2000.

In 2000, the National Bank sliced three zeroes off the rubel and put into circulation new 1-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 500-, 1,000- and 5,000-rubel notes. The old notes were legal tender until January 1, 2001.