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NBRB unwilling to reduce refinancing rate in August


The refinancing rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus will not be changed in August. It will stay at 23.5% per annum, representatives of the Information and Public Relations Office of the country’s central bank told BelTA.

The decision was made after the matter was discussed by the NBRB Board on 13 August 2013.

BelTA has been told that in July 2013 the complicated foreign trade situation and seasonal factors fuelled the demand of individuals and corporations for foreign currency, encouraging the withdrawal of ruble deposits and their conversion into forex deposits. In mid-July the NBRB took measures to arrest the processes. The situation on the domestic forex market and the deposits market was generally stabilized by the end of July.

The interest rate policy will stay rigid for the sake of preserving the stability on the financial market and curbing inflation, representatives of the National Bank told BelTA. With the profitability of ruble deposits largely exceeding the profitability of forex deposits, a steady increase in ruble deposits will be secured.

Later on the National Bank will continue pursuing an interest rate policy aimed at curbing inflation processes and supporting financial stability.

The NBRB reduced the refinancing rate by 1.5 percentage points to 23.5% on 10 June. The first time the refinancing rate was reduced in 2013 was on 13 March — from 30% per annum to 28.5% per annum. Before that the main interest rate had been stable for half a year. On 17 April the NBRB refinancing rate dropped by 1.5 percentage points to 27% per annum. On 15 May the country’s key interest rate shrank by 2 percentage points to 25% per annum. There are plans to reduce the refinancing rate to 13-15% per annum in 2013. Yet NBRB representatives have stated repeatedly that changes of the key interest rate will depend on the macroeconomic situation, primarily the state of affairs in foreign trade and the currency market, and the actual inflation.

In January-July 2013 inflation in Belarus totaled 8%, with the annual expected increase limited to 12%. In 2012 inflation totaled 21.8%.

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