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23 Jul 2018

Fitch affirms Belarus at 'B'

MINSK, 23 July (BelTA) - Fitch Ratings has affirmed Belarus' Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'B' with a Stable Outlook, BelTA informs with reference to the agency's press release.

Belarus' ratings balance improving macroeconomic stability on the one hand and a number of potential risks on the other.

The agency noted that Belarus' recovery has been stronger than anticipated. Growth reached 2.4% in 2017 and could accelerate further to 3.5% in 2018 supported by reduced external financing constraints, growth in Russia and other trading partners and strong domestic consumption and investment performance. Fitch Ratings expects growth to moderate to 2.5% and 2.0% in 2019 and 2020.

Fitch expects the inflation to average 6.0% in 2018, almost half the 2016 level and in line with the National Bank end-year objective. According to Fitch, the success of the National Bank's strategy to move toward a fully-fledged inflation targeting regime and reach 5% inflation by 2020 will depend on sustaining policy consistency, and improving monetary policy transmission channels through continued progress in the reduction of financial dollarisation (67% of deposits) and quasi-fiscal program lending.

Fitch also affirmed Belarus’ eurobonds at “B”.

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