Thursday, February 9, 2012

National Bank of Belarus Cuts Rate 200bps to 43.00%

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus cut its refinancing rate by 200 basis points to 43.00% from 45.00%, reversing a string of aggressive rate hikes.  The Bank said [translated]: "In recent months, there are persistent positive trends in the economy and the monetary sphere. Inflationary processes slowed the growth of consumer prices in December 2011 - January 2012 fell to about two percent per month. As a result of increasing the supply of foreign currency on the domestic foreign exchange market has remained stable rate of the Belarusian ruble. There has been steady growth in ruble deposits in banks, first of all, time deposits."

The bank last hiked the rate by 500 basis point for the third time in a row in December last year.  The bank increased the rate a total of 3450 basis points in 2011.  Belarus reported consumer price inflation at hyperinflationary levels of 109.7% in January this year, up from 92.3% in October, up from 79.6% in September, and 36.2% in the year to June, according to the National Statistic Committee.  

The USD-Belarussian ruble (BYR) exchange rate has doubled on the black market, rising to as much as 7,000 per dollar (approx. 6,000 in July), and currently trades around 8330 (5350 in September) against the US dollar, according to quotes from Yahoo Finance.


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