Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Politics and Geopolitics / Russia and Belarus: estimates and projections / Articles
Belarus on the verge of major upheavals
Material posted: -Publication date: 02-04-2011

In recent times in Belarus seriously worsened, a number of economic indicators. Foreign exchange reserves of the Republic at the end of 2010 was only about 5.4 billion dollars. Within two months of the current year GCR has lost about 1.2 billion dollars. This is primarily due to negative foreign trade balance. The current account deficit of the balance of payments is approaching 16%. In January the exports of Belarus decreased by more than 13%. Enterprise simply wash available in the Republic of currency for payment of imports.

Additionally, you no longer oil and gas "Delta" - the difference between the prices at which the Republic bought Russian oil and gas, and prices on the world market, which the Belarusian authorities could cover their wrong economic course.

All this, including unjustified increase in public sector wages ahead of presidential elections in late 2010 of up to $ 500 on average, has led to the fact that the most open system problems of the second decade of not reforming the Belarusian economy was manifested in the foreign exchange market of the Republic. Thus, since January 1, 2011 was officially forbidden to issue loans to individuals in foreign currency after a 3 - year temporary moratorium. Within two months of the current year the Belarusian ruble fell to 5.85% the currency basket (it includes the Russian ruble, dollar and Euro), while for 2011 the corridor of fluctuations of the Belarusian ruble against the currency basket was set in the range of plus/minus 8%. Thirdly, in the Republic seriously growing inflation: the annual forecast is 8-9% for January-February it has grown on 4,2%, and for the two weeks of March another 1%.

Already in January it became evident that the crisis phenomena in the Belarusian economy, which had been temporarily superseded by the presidential election, came to the fore. Despite the December increase in average wages by 30-35% up to $ 500, it seriously declined in January to $ 440. The population saw that despite all pre-election promises of the authorities, wages are falling, the ruble depreciates, the prices in the shops are rising. Why they decided to protect their savings so long been a proven way and went to the exchangers. Arriving there and was surprised to find that there is no money. In addition, the national Bank and the government over the past two months carefully limited the sale of foreign currency to economic entities. This has also led to panic.

For the past two months the national Bank has done a lot to screw up. The most negative response was caused by the following five administrative measures of the NBU on the currency market in 2011: a ban on prepayment of imports at the expense of foreign currency loans of Belarusian banks; prohibition of purchase of foreign currency for import of goods under a foreign trade contract for the sum exceeding 50 thousand Euro; increase the exchange fee for transactions with foreign currency on the Belarusian currency and stock exchange; the increase for banks from 6% to 9% of the standard reserve requirement on funds raised in foreign currency; establishing 30-day time reservation of funds for foreign currency purchase on the stock market.

What was the result of these measures the national Bank - for example, administrative restrictions on foreign currency purchase on the stock exchange to Finance the import of investment contracts not more than 50 thousand euros? This led to the fact that stood foreign trade activities of Belarusian economic entities. On 16 March it was decided to order the currency on the exchange for 30 (!) days before purchasing it, whereas before it was delivered the next day. Ie had to give Belarusian rubles today, so only a month you were given currency. And who can guarantee that in the course of this month, do not devaluation? It is clear that nobody.

This measure of the national Bank led to the fact that such a world famous company like Samsung was forced to publish an official statement that it will suspend its work with Belarusian dealers to return the situation in the former legal framework. In addition, the national Bank stopped selling foreign currency to commercial banks, and those, in turn, customers. It got to the point of absurdity - not only some banks have been asking customers to sell them currency from their foreign currency accounts, but also announced temporary restrictions on foreign exchange payments on the card accounts in Belarusian rubles.

However, despite all the efforts of the national Bank, the situation has only worsened, and the national Bank began to Unscrew some of the most ill-conceived of their decisions back. Thus, on March 22, 2011 the resolution of the NBU from April 1, 2011 abolished the 30-day reservation of funds in Belarusian rubles to buy foreign currency at auction of JSC "Belarusian currency and stock exchange". It happened exactly one week after the adoption of the previous resolution of 16 March about 30-day reservation of funds.

Thus, from April 1, 2011 reservation of funds by banks to purchase foreign currency will be carried out in the former regime - one working day prior to bidding. However, this does not mean that the currency can be bought on the exchange. The replacement 30-day reservation comes "card system". Sale of foreign currency to economic entities will be made in amounts not exceeding the offer (30% compulsory sale). This introduces the list of priorities.

However, the decision did not mean that there is no problem, because on the same day, March 22, the national Bank of Belarus has stopped sale of currency to banks, which they bought for sale to the public in Bank exchange offices. It was motivated by the lack of support for entrepreneurs.

The decision of the national Bank, commercial banks responded in the same day. March 22, many of them refused to conduct transactions on credit cards in a foreign currency by translating all the calculations and transactions exclusively in Belarusian rubles. This decision they explained by the sharp deterioration of the situation on the currency market and the introduction of numerous restrictions and prohibitions of the National Bank of Belarus.

The last "innovation" of the national Bank was that commercial banks were verbally advised to restrain the issuance of consumer and auto loans, to reduce pressure on the foreign exchange market. In addition, sources in the banking circles report about the surge in the number of appeals from people regarding withdrawal of deposits in foreign currency. Experts do not exclude that as the activity of individuals due to unstable situation on the currency market, banks may face a problem of return of deposits.

In addition, the gravity of the situation prevailing not only in the foreign exchange market of the country, but in General the economy of the Republic, testify to the following facts. To maintain the exchange rate of Belarus about half a billion dollars a month. Minimized consumer credit program, reduced funding for social housing. Second time in a month in the Republic increased gasoline prices, with the result that they have become closer to European, Russian exceeding one and a half times. Gas stations on the border restrictions on the single release of diesel fuel.

In these circumstances, adopted a few days ago of measures of the national Bank partial release rate of the Belarusian ruble is quite natural and justified - if not knowledge and skills to reform the economy, it remains only to patch holes due to the already marginal population. If the U.S. dollar today on the black market is at least 3600-4000 Belarusian roubles, so it must be sold, then businesses, and the population will see at least some of their insurance money from inflation. However, this cannot be done for political reasons.

As soon as there will be another devaluation of the Belarusian "Bunny", the population will immediately see that his actual salary was $ 300-350, it is still there, but the prices on everything from fees for kindergarten and to food products increased almost twice. When people are aware that it was once again rudely "threw", then no one can give today is no guarantee that after that he will take to the streets. While on the streets not that pathetic lured activists of the Pro-Western opposition, which periodically and for no reason wanders through Minsk, and the proletarians - the very popular "bone", about whose well-being is supposedly so devoted to the Belarusian leadership.

To save the regime from default only the Russian loan, which was announced today by the national Bank. Will give the Russians $ 400 million - eking out another month. Will give 1 billion dollars to hold on until the summer and possibly until the autumn, because in summer people are leaving on vacation and villas, and the pressure on the foreign exchange market has been greatly reduced. However, this money will end, and economy must be reformed. Reforming the economy in terms of destroyed over the previous years, relations with Russia and without the airbags, which was the Republic in 2001-2006, which has serious political implications for the current Belarusian leadership.

All of this suggests that the Belarusian authorities with their economically illiterate political action itself, is driven into a corner and now fully depends on the will of his older partner. This raises one question - why were all these scandals, quarrels and public showdown over the past five years? Ranging from sugar, milk to oil, gas, CSTO and the customs Union? Really it was not clear at whose expense lasts and thrives "Belarusian economic miracle"? Perhaps, then, that, in the end, when the spectre of complete economic collapse will just stand in the doorway of our common Belarusian home, to give the most "neuklonnym" in the past TSU - a rocket to fly to Moscow and, I hope, the former "thugs" Alexei Kudrin plead to issue at least some of Zavalishina credit. Do Belarusians in? But it could be something totally different.

 

 

Source: http://belarus.regnum.ru/news/1389715.html

Tags: Russia


RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics
Возрастное ограничение