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24 Jan 2018

EBRD plans first projects in Belarusian national currency in 2018

MINSK, 24 January (BelTA) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to implement the first projects in the Belarusian national currency in 2018, Head of the EBRD Office in Belarus Alexander Pivovarsky told the media, BelTA has learned.

“One of the memorandums we signed with the Belarusian government in 2017 is to finance projects in Belarusian rubles. We hope that this year we will be able to finance the economy of Belarus in its national currency for the first time,” he said.

According to Alexander Pivovarsky, this can be done in two ways. First, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will provide its guarantees for the implementation of certain projects in Belarusian rubles. The second method is with the EBRD starting to attract credit lines from Belarusian banks in the national currency. “International companies who would like to receive financing in Belarusian rubles have already been addressing us. Credit lines attracted from Belarusian banks could solve the matter,” he stressed.

According to the head of the EBRD office, among the most interested parties are the companies that invest in projects on the Belarusian market. “They take loans, for example, in euros, and get income here in rubles. With any fluctuations on the foreign exchange market, they can have currency risks. Right now there are not so many companies of the kind, but I think their number will be growing,” he said.

Alexander Pivovarsky said that the EBRD is determined to promote projects with financing in the Belarusian national currency. According to him, the interest in the Belarusian ruble is maintained, among other things, by its recent stability.

“We will start working with small amounts of funds to test whether we will be able to work with the Belarusian currency. There may be some legal or other restrictions that we need to check. There is even a possibility that we will be able to issue domestic bonds in the local currency in the midterm,” he said.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is the biggest institutional investor in the Belarusian economy. The bank’s aggregate volume of operations in the country has almost reached €2 billion.

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