MINSK, 24 October (BelTA) – The structure of Belarus' gold and foreign exchange reserves is changing to accommodate the growing volume of transactions in Russian rubles and Chinese yuans, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) Pavel Kallaur.
Pavel Kallaur said: “Our gold and foreign exchange reserves hover at $7.5 billion. We've repaid the external state debt by spending $900 million from the gold and foreign exchange reserves just like we planned. We don't expect the gold and foreign exchange reserves to drop below $7 billion till the end of the year. It is understandable that the structure of the reserves changes depending on the currency used for foreign trade transactions. We see that the share of euro payments is falling while the shares of the Russian ruble and the Chinese yuans are rising. This is why the structure of the gold and foreign exchange reserves will follow the monetary flows generated by foreign trade operations.”
BelTA reported earlier that measures to ensure foreign trade transactions of commercial entities in the face of sanctions-fuelled pressure were one of the matters Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko raised as he met with Pavel Kallaur to hear out a report on the situation in the banking industry. It was noted that U.S. dollars and euros are used for 75% and more of the world's export and import transactions. “They are toxic currencies for us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Speaking about the structure of the broad money supply, the head of Belarus' central bank stated that the country is gradually phasing out U.S. dollars due to a gradual increase in demand for the national currency. “Naturally, we should encourage savings in the national currency. We have a strategy in place for building up trust in the Belarusian ruble. We have to follow it. It is a complicated incremental process,” Pavel Kallaur said.
The official said that on the whole, the banking industry behaves professionally and responsibly. The current results on the monetary market and the currency market, aid to Belarusian enterprises struggling to adapt to complicated conditions are a case in point. “No doubt, we will continue pursuing this responsible policy, ensuring price stability, financial stability and thus contributing to the economic development of the country. While ultimately contributing to the growing prosperity of our people,” Pavel Kallaur assured.
Speaking about currency exchange rates, Pavel Kallaur reminded that Belarus relies on a floating exchange rate and the central bank is supposed to moderate excessive volatility on the market, thus preventing unnecessary price gouging on the part of those, who trade in foreign currency, and on the part of the trade enterprises, which peg their prices to currency exchange rates. “We are managing to accomplish this task. But the currency exchange rate and the dynamics are determined by fundamental factors. By the state of the country's balance of payments. We have a foreign trade surplus of $2.1 billion. It is the foundation for stability on the currency market as far as fundamental factors are concerned,” Pavel Kallaur said.