Developments in the foreign exchange market in Belarus cause confusion in the international financiers. As in this situation, the National Bank should act? Why Belarusian authorities stubbornly refuse from the devaluation of the ruble? The questions answered by Igor Corneille Megvinetuhutsesi Mariam, a member of the Board of Directors of «TBC bank», one of the largest banks in Georgia.
In Belarus, the two banks — "Belarusian People's Bank" and "Belarusian Bank for Small Business" — have in their structure a significant proportion of the Georgian capital. But while the chests, the national currency of Georgia, has artificially devalue that local products were competitive devaluation of the Belarusian authorities refused categorically.
Mariam Megvinetuhutsesi, a member of the Board of Directors of «TBC bank», one of the largest banks in Georgia, says that in such a situation, the main role of the regulator of financial processes should take the country's National Bank. But what should this role be — stern observer or adviser?
— I can say that the independence, professionalism and strength of our Georgian central bank — as a regulator — emerged during the crisis. As you may recall, the international monetary and financial crisis, plus there was a conflict with Russia. That is for the worst conditions of the banking system quite unimaginable. But the fact is that none of the Georgian banks went bankrupt, because there was a very strong and professional regulation, well-crafted. Of course, before the crisis, we have often said that, they say, is too strict National Bank, etc. But in fact, the crisis has shown that they were right in the fact that a rather strict requirements for banks, and especially to the capital — the primary and secondary capital.
— That is, despite the crisis in the arms conflict with Russia, the lari major currencies has not changed?
Georgian lari does not want to devalue.
— No, only slightly, if you look at the reality. I repeat: on the one hand, this helps correct the fiscal policy of the National Bank, on the other hand — monetary policy too. And the main problem that the National Bank should first settle — is inflationary times. For them, it is now a top priority. But at this time, as I see it, all the measures that are now being made, quite effective.
— Is there any acceptable situation where the central bank dictates its terms subordinate institutions? For example, to the trading band for currency sale to individuals was not more than 2% from the official rate, or — not more than 10% for non-cash transactions …
— For us, it's news, we can not imagine any such diktat. After all, for all of us who work in the Georgian financial sector, this sector has always been so free that many simply do not understand it. Perish the thought, but we can not imagine anything like this. At least in our recent history, this was not. The liberal attitude on the part of our central bank have always been, and never so hard, this area is not regulated.
— Belarusian financial market is in a real panic. National Bank has stopped selling the currency to commercial banks for exchangers, resulting in people rushed to buy everything you can — at odds in gold bullion, silver coins …
— Clearly, investing in metal … I can say that nothing like this in Georgia was not. There was a slight devaluation of the lari, but in reality it entailed only that the people their savings, which they kept in chests, urgently translated into dollars. But it was discovered in a civilized manner. Such a moment to do the currency market has disappeared, of course, was not.
— That is, you can always exchange and purchase and sell completely free?
— Yes, there is always absolutely free could sell or buy a currency. In other words, freely convertible currency can be imported and exported out of the country without any problems. Always starting from the declaration of independence has been freely and buy and sell any currency. Questions in this regard did not arise before or now.
— The International Monetary Fund recommends Belarus to devalue. The authorities did not take such a step in part because that for such scenario, promised a salary of $ 500 again becomes a fiction. In Georgia, the policy is often intervenes in the financial sector?
— Politics, apparently, always affects the financial sector, more precisely, on its separate directions. But mostly in the Georgia economy and politics drawn to identify priorities for further development. For example, over the past few years, this policy has been the financing of infrastructure projects, the construction of hotels for tourism, etc. That is, in this sense — yes, there is a help line, where to invest in the country, in what industry. This, of course, has always acted. But not otherwise.
— The devaluation of the lari under what conditions? Do you see something that would adversely affect the rate of the national currency?
— We believe that this year will be significant economic growth, the International Monetary Fund said the same. Therefore we have no cause for serious devaluation of the lari.
— The country's largest "Bank of Georgia" for a long time has business interests in Belarus. «TBC bank» considered such a possibility?
— We looked at a variety of markets. But so far are mainly represented in the Caucasus, as an example — in Azerbaijan. We believe that this is a very promising market. Belarus, I believe, is also quite promising market, based primarily on geographic location. It is in fact located in Europe. So I believe that Belarus will be the prospects, unless, of course, would be undertaken reforms. In principle, the direction of interest. But for us, as long as the Caucasus — is a priority market, and now we have not really look in the direction of Belarus. At least for now — no.
— So far, the level of conversation, but discussed the possibility of the introduction of the visa regime between Belarus and Georgia …
— Well, I believe that it will also be very problematic moment for the continued existence of any representative of Georgian companies in Belarus. Much to our regret.
Main office «TBC bank» in Tbilisi.