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National Bank forbids foreign currency lending to legal entities

National Bank forbids foreign currency lending to legal entities

Issuing loans in foreign currency for settlements with non-residents of Belarus has been forbidden.

The only exception is loans for paying for gas to Gazprom Transgaz Belarus company.

It follows from the resolution of the National Bank of January 4. The document was published on the National Legal Internet Portal and took force today. It amends the resolution of the National Bank's Board No. 577 of January 13, 2012 “On foreign currency lending,” Interfax news agency reports.

In accordance with the document, the ban is applied to both short-term and long-term (investment) loans.

An exception is made for giving loans in foreign currency to legal entities, residents of Belarus, for settlements with Gazprom Transgaz Belarus company for gas supplies as payments for gas in foreign currency were provided for by the interstate Belarus-Russia agreement on buying Beltransgaz (the company was renamed into Gazprom Transgaz Belarus after the deal closure) by Russia's Gazprom.

The National Bank announced tougher monetary policy in early January 2014 despite a stabilisation loan of $2 billion from Russia. The regulator noted the decisions were made at a meeting of the Board of the National Bank.

“The implementation of measures to enhance the efficiency of bank lending will make it possible to impose in the first quarter of the current year a 0.7% limit on the growth of claims on the economy per month on average,” the National Bank said adding that “such rates of lending correspond to the annual forecast and make it possible to ensure the required development of the economy without negative impact on the macroeconomic balance.”

The National Bank offered stricter foreign currency lending conditions for economic entities in November 2012. In February 2013, it allowed issuing long-term loans in foreign currency (for a period of more than one year) on the request of the government and in view of industrial modernisation.

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