National Bank pushes for lower interests on corporate loans
As of September 28th, the National Bank introduced a new upper margin for rouble loans interest rates – not higher than the average rate in the previous month, minus 1%. As a result, loans’ interest rates will be reducing by at least 1% every month and by January 1st, 2015 will fall below 30% per annum. Interest rates on deposits for individuals will be lowered too, as well as corporate expenses on servicing loans. Demand for corporate rouble loans will heat up, reducing the demand for currency loans. The main risk is that the banking system might lose some liquidity and be unable to meet the hgher demand for rouble loans.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.