Additional trading session at the Currency Exchange has been introduced
On 14 September the first additional trading session took place at the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange. Regardless of the demand exceeding the supply by far, the market value of USD has reached around Br 8,500, which is close to the previous month’s black market exchange rate (by 1.5 times higher than the official exchange rate).
On 14 September the first additional trading session took place at the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange. Regardless of the demand exceeding the supply by five times, the market value of USD has reached around Br 8,600.
Regardless of the demand exceeding the supply by five times, the market value of USD has reached around Br 8,600.
On the following day the Dollar exchange rate has lowered to Br 8500 (the turnover reached USD 15.964 million vs USD 3.298 million on 14 September). On the third day the market exchange rate stopped at Br 8,480 rubles per USD (turnover USD 27.21 million). The Russian ruble value fell by 1 ruble to Br 294, the Euro dropped to Br 12 140.
As of 14 September the Board of the National Bank of Belarus raised the refinancing rate from 27 percent to 30 percent per annum.
As of 14 September the Board of the National Bank of Belarus raised the refinancing rate from 27 percent to 30 percent per annum. The consistent increase of the cost of the borrowed money in the economy is intended to deter the customer’s demand for bank credits while trying to achieve a balanced exchange rate. At the same time, increased refinancing rate will become an additional stimulus for attracting savings in Belarusian rubles and reducing pressure on the exchange rates.
Some experts say the NBB very cautiously uses the administrative resource. For instance, the state-owned enterprises exporters are invited to sell the currency, while importers to wait. Moreover, enterprises per se do not take part in the trading session, only banks, which either owned by the government or dependent on it. Therefore the NBB is trying to increase the supply artificially and to knock down the demand. At the same time, all state media reports that the exchange rate will continue falling and will become closer to the official (Br 5200 per USD).
Commercial banks build in risks via the high spread between the buying and the selling price and do not guarantee the availability of currency, while the black market works with low spread and high turnover.
There is still a lack of currency in the banks’ currency exchange offices. In particular, banks operate only within the limits of the bought currency, and almost do not use their own funds. Regardless of the new exchange rates, the population is not queuing up to sell their currency, although there is a slight increase in sales against the background of the lack of queues of those willing to buy. Black market exchange rate has not disappeared: USD can be sold at Br 8,800 per USD (Br 8,200-8,300 in the banks) and bought at Br 9,000 (Br 9,200-9,500 in the banks, though not always available).
Therefore commercial banks build in risks via the high spread between the buying and the selling price and do not guarantee the availability of currency, while the black market works with low spread and high turnover.
Over the past year, military-political relations between Minsk and Kyiv have become complicated. Due to their high inertia and peculiarities, this downward trend would be extremely difficult to overcome.
The root cause of the crisis is the absence of a common political agenda in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Minsk is looking for a market for Belarusian exports in Ukraine and offers its services as a negotiation platform for the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, thereby hoping to avoid political issues in the dialogue with Kiev. Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for political support from Minsk in the confrontation with Moscow. In addition, Ukraine’s integration with NATO presupposes her common position with the Alliance in relation to Belarus. The NATO leadership regards the Belarusian Armed Forces as an integral part of the Russian military machine in the western strategic front (the Baltic states and Poland). In addition, the ongoing military reform in Ukraine envisages a reduction in the number of generals and the domestic political struggle makes some Ukrainian top military leaders targets in politically motivated attacks.
Hence, the criticism of Belarus coming from Ukrainian military leadership is dictated primarily by internal and external political considerations, as well as by the need to protect the interests of generals, and only then by facts.
For instance, initially, the Ukrainian military leadership made statements about 100,000 Russian servicemen allegedly taking part in the Russo-Belarusian military drill West-2017. Then the exercises were labelled quazi-open and military observers from Ukraine refused to provide their assessment, which caused a negative reaction in Minsk. Further, without citing specific facts, it was stated that Russia was building up its military presence in Belarus.
Apparently, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries have entangled in a confrontational spiral (on the level of rhetoric). Moreover, only a small part of the overly hidden process has been disclosed. That said, third states are very likely to take advantage of the situation (or have already done so). This is not only about Russia.
The Belarusian Defence Ministry officials are restrained in assessing their Ukrainian counterparts. However, such a restraint is not enough. Current military-political relations between Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to stabilise without the intervention of both presidents.