Belarus does not plan to ask Anti-crisis Fund of Eurasian Economy Community for new loan, National Bank head says

At the same time Ms. Yermakova expressed hope that Belarus would receive the sixth, final tranche of the Anti-crisis Fund’s $3-billion stabilization loan before the end of the year...

 

Belarus does not plan to apply to the Anti-crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economy Community (EurAsEC) for a new loan, Nadzeya Yermakova, head of the National Bank, said on Wednesday during a live phone-in question and answer session hosted by the government-controlled newspaper Narodnaya Hazeta.

Лукашенко: воздушных денег не бываетAt the same time Ms. Yermakova expressed hope that Belarus would receive the sixth, final tranche of the Anti-crisis Fund’s $3-billion stabilization loan before the end of the year.

In a recent interview with BelaPAN, Alisher Mirzoyev, head of the Fund’s social and economic policy department, said that the decision on the $440-million tranche would be made in November.

The decision will depend on the performance of the Belarusian economy between January and September, Mr. Mirzoyev said.

The Anti-crisis Fund`s recommendation for Belarus to restrict lending will now be a condition for obtaining the tranche, he said. “Belarus obtained the fifth tranche even though it had not implemented the recommendation,” Mr. Mirzoyev said. “Now we have set a lending growth rate target. If the target is not met, Belarus will be less likely to get another $440 million from the Anti-crisis Fund.”

Belarus’ lending growth rate will be monitored as a key stabilization indicator on the initiative of Minsk, Mr. Mirzoyev said. This shows the importance of lending reduction for implementing the program and sends a signal to all economic entities, he said.

“If lending growth is not curbed, it will be impossible to manage domestic demand,” Mr. Mirzoyev explained. “If the demand soars, the balance of payments and macroeconomic stability in Belarus in general will be in danger.”

Belarus appears interested to obtain one more loan from the Anti-crisis Fund, Mr. Mirzoyev said.

The Fund’s decision on the possible loan application would largely depend to on the implementation of the current loan program for Belarus, he noted.

Approved by the board of the Anti-crisis Fund on June 4, 2011, the $3-billion stabilization loan for Belarus was aimed at supporting the country’s effort to improve its balance of payments. The 10-year loan was to be disbursed in six tranches within three calendar years. The loan has a grace period of three years and carries a floating interest rate set on the basis of the reference rates of the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

The first, $800-million tranche of the loan was made available to Belarus in June 2011. Another portion, $440 million, was provided in late December 2011. Belarus received the third tranche in mid-June 2012, the fourth one in January 2013 and the fifth one in April.

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), which administers the loan, reported earlier this month that Belarus had failed to meet five indicative targets that it had agreed upon with the Anti-crisis Fund to receive the fifth tranche.

The failure to meet the targets “significantly diminished the effects of the stabilization program and may lead to a loss of its positive results,” the report said.

According to the EDB, the failure to meet some of the targets resulted from a loosening of monetary policy. // BelaPAN