18 January 2018, Thursday, 10:59

Barys Zhaliba: We can face rampant devaluation


Putin is in no hurry to give Lukashenka the promised loan of $2 bn.

Since the beginning of the year the foreign exchange earnings of Belarus have shrunk by more than billion dollars. An economist Barys Zhaliba predicts what could overhang Belarusians in case of its further dwindling, “Salidarnasts” informs.

Professor Barys Zhaliba, Doctor of Economics, says one of the major reasons for dwindling foreign exchange earnings is decrease in exports:

- It is connected to the fact that the economy of Russia is going through hard times. It had serious losses due to Ukrainian-Russian crisis. Our second partner after Russia is Ukraine.

The expert notes that at the moment more or less successful work of Belaruskali is the one profitable sector.

- However, the National Bank keeps the ruble from a landslide of devaluation, and we are observing a gradual devaluation due to decrease of gold and currency reserves. They are melting also because debts are being paid, - the expert said. – So far the situation is rather stable. Another psychological factor of stability is that Putin had promised a 2-million loan in May. However, May is expiring, and the money has not been received yet. The exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble is devaluated gradually, there is currency in exchange offices, and so far men in the street are not affected by diminishing of currency earnings directly.

The economist is alarmed by this statistics:

- If currency earnings volume is to continue to decrease, it is to affect the exchange. The demand for foreign currency is to exceed supply more and more. The bank would have to throw more and more deficient currency from its reserves. In the event Russia would not give support by its loan, reserves dwindling could reach a critical point, and then we are to face rampant devaluation of Belarusian ruble.

There would be a respective response of banking depositors. They will withdraw rubles and queue in exchange offices. And we are to find ourselves on the threshold of a currency crisis of 2011 again. That is why measures are to be taken to slow down decrease of earnings. If Belarus receives the Russian loan, the situation is to stabilize before the end of the year, and there would be no landslide devaluation.