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12 Jan 2017

Increased resilience of Belarus’ monetary system to external shocks praised

MINSK, 12 January (BelTA) – Sberbank President, Chairman of the Board German Gref praised the increased resilience of the Belarusian monetary system to external shocks as he spoke to reporters on 12 January.

German Gref noted that the difficult economic situation in Russia and Belarus is a result of exposure to macroeconomic shocks, including the oil price slump and the processes that it triggered.

“The shock has almost been overcome. The policy of the National Bank of Belarus envisaging a transition to the floating exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble should prevent recurrence of the shock, even if unforeseen circumstances arise,” German Gref said.

He also noted that inflation is on downtrend.

“Accordingly, we see a trend towards the reduction of the refinancing rate of Belarus’ National Bank. It is clear that this cannot be done overnight. But the trend is clear. By the end of the year, the rate will be decreased significantly. As a result, I think that by the end of the year loans in the national currency will become much more affordable both for individual and legal entities,” German Gref said.

“This will bear fruit. Investors will begin to support the projects that were previously unaffordable due to the high rates. Mortgage loans will become much more affordable. At the end of last year, Sberbank lowered the rate to 17.5% and we immediately saw an increase in the demand for mortgage loans. If this rate is further reduced to somewhere 10%, when the macroeconomic conditions are favorable, in 2018, this will change the macroeconomic environment in a big way,” German Gref said.

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