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How Much Is Left in the "Money Box" Before the Start of Devaluation in Belarus?

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How Much Is Left in the "Money Box" Before the Start of Devaluation in Belarus?
Photo: tut.by

The authorities' reserves are dwindling.

Belarusians have the opportunity to calculate what will remain of the reserves of the authorities after the embezzlement of the currency.

The calculation results cannot be called particularly positive. As of May 1, the gold and foreign exchange reserves of Belarus according to the IMF method amounted to USD 7.278 billion.

“We have already written about the reasons for their growth in April,” writes the banki24.by edition.

In short, it was influenced by the rise in gold prices, as well as quarterly taxes, which allowed the National Bank to redeem currency from the exchange.

In addition to reserves, there is a small store in the official definition, which is called "other assets" not included in the reserve."

By May 1, the size of these assets amounted to USD 234.4 million. Although the aforementioned USD 234.4 million is not formally included in the gold and foreign exchange reserves; as practice shows, they can easily move there and go back.

Potentially, this is some margin for maintaining the gold reserves. As of May 1, the officials' stash was entirely represented by deposits in foreign currency.

The National Bank regularly reports that it spends some amounts during interventions to smooth out fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble.

The different components of the reserves cannot be said to be equivalent in terms of their suitability for such interventions. For example, monetary gold is the last thing central banks sell to contain the devaluation of the national currency.

Venezuela is a negative example, where the authorities have long spent gold to keep the economy afloat.

Also, Special Drawing Rights are not suitable for intervention. As of May 1, their share in the gold and foreign exchange reserves of Belarus amounted to USD 533.9 million.

SDRs are reserve assets that the IMF distributes among member countries in proportion to the quota of those countries.

But the so-called foreign currency assets are most suitable for intervention. As of May 1, their size reached 2.854 billion USD.

In addition to foreign currency assets, the gold and foreign exchange reserves also include “other assets.” By May 1, their size amounted to USD 1.047 billion. Almost all of these assets (USD 1.043 billion) were represented by securities borrowed or purchased under repurchase agreements.

These assets can be used to pay off foreign currency debts of the authorities.

Thus, by May 1, reserves potentially suitable for intervention and repayment of debts for small amounts did not reach USD 3.9 billion.

What then are the upcoming expenses of the National Bank and the Ministry of Finance? The amount of probable expenses can be estimated from the NBRB data.

As of May 1, the predetermined waste of foreign currency assets for 12 months in advance reached USD 3.124 billion. In general, if the authorities are unable to intercept loans over a sliding year, then by the next spring and labor holiday, about 0.7 billion USD will remain from foreign exchange reserves - 5 times less than now.