The Wall Street Journal: Belarus devalues money

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So estimates U.S. edition for business The Wall Street Journal last decision of the National Bank of Belarus (NBB).

Belarus is actually allowed a 10 percent devaluation of its currency in the interbank market, but it was unclear whether will be such a financial action to allow authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko to strengthen public finances.

Higher prices for imported Russian oil and a sharp increase in government spending contributed to the emergence of Belarus in the huge trade deficit, and "eaten" by the country's foreign exchange reserves, which dropped by 30% since the end of last year.

The National Bank of Belarus said on Tuesday that "banks … allowed to buy and sell foreign currency at the exchange rate that does not differ more than 10% of the official rate. " Earlier NBB recommended banks to stay within two percent of the official exchange rate fluctuations.

This step will have an impact only on the interbank market rather than on exchanges urazdrob, spokesman of the National Bank.

Higher prices for imported Russian oil and a sharp increase in government spending, "eaten" by the country's foreign exchange reserves, which dropped by 30% since the end of last year.

Belarus devalued its currency by 25% in 2009, and performed a program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and received from him a loan of 2.5 billion dollars.

Earlier this month, the IMF said that the current budget deficit of the country was "unacceptable" and urged the government to hold such processes as the increase of salaries to state officials, the expansion of credit and external borrowing, which Lukashenko has taken the presidential election last year.

Analysts say that aftermost recent incarnation step of the Belarusian financial authorities was "a step in the right direction," but ask the question, was the devaluation sufficient to rescue the country's foreign reserves, which melt.

Belarusian officials have previously stated that there is no need for a formal devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. They had hoped that Russia will provide a loan of $ 3 billion, as well as controlled by Moscow emergency fund for post-Soviet states, though, as they say analysts, the influx of money will be only a temporary escape.

"This is certainly a positive fact that they realize that the current situation is unacceptable," — said Tim Ash, an economist at RBS, adding that "hard to say" enough to be a devaluation of 10%.

The official exchange rates of the National Bank of Belarus to the Belarusian ruble at 30 March are set at levels: 4273.55 rubles per 1 Euro 3038 rubles per 1 dollar and 106.93 rubles per 1 Russian ruble.

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