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03 October 2016, 17:36

Belarus to raise gold, foreign exchange reserves up to $5.4bn in 2017

MINSK, 3 October (BelTA) – In 2017 Belarus intends to raise its gold and foreign exchange reserves by $500 million up to the equivalent of $5.4 billion, BelTA learned from Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) Sergei Kalechits in the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly on 3 October.

Sergei Kalechits said: “For the sake of ensuring macroeconomic stability next year the government and the central bank will take measures to maintain and increase the country's gold and foreign exchange reserves. Plans have been made to raise the reserves by at least $500 million to the equivalent of $5.4 billion. According to our calculations, the figure will be sufficient for 2.2 months of import.”

In early 2016 Belarus' gold and foreign exchange reserves totaled $4.2 billion. The figure was close to $4.8 billion as of 1 October. The reserves are growing larger, stated the deputy head of the central bank.

In his words, next year Belarus' gold and foreign exchange reserves will be increased mainly thanks to the surplus of the balance of payments. “We expect the surplus to be produced primarily due to the intensive performance of the national economy while the government and the National Bank honor their foreign currency commitments,” said Sergei Kalechits. “The central bank will continue buying foreign currency to replenish the reserves when supply steadily exceeds demand on the home currency market.”

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