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19 May 2016

Plans to set up national rating agency in Belarus

MINSK, 19 May (BelTA) – Plans have been made to set up a national rating agency in Belarus, BelTA learned from Belarusian Deputy Finance Minister Yuri Seliverstov during the Fitch Ratings conference held on 19 May to review the macroeconomic situation and the banking industry in Belarus in 2016.

The official said: “We systematically work with rating agencies and will continue doing so. We are ready to consider cooperation possibilities and set up a national rating agency. Taking into account the liberalization of the financial market, these initiatives may deserve attention. We think that the Fitch Ratings representative office in Belarus can help advance this effort.”

Yuri Seliverstov underlined that Belarus respects recommendations made by Fitch Ratings and uses a comprehensive approach to improve the macroeconomic situation and the country’s external liquidity. “In 2015 we began implementing a strategy to manage the state debt. Taking into account recommendations of colleagues from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, we determined goals and rules that, we hope, will reduce the peak tension of state debt payments and will prevent such tensions in years to come,” said the Belarusian Deputy Finance Minister.

In his words, Belarus has started privatizing Belinvestbank in association with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “A set of measures has been worked out. A memorandum has been signed. Systemic work is in progress to privatize the banking institution,” explained the official.

Apart from that, efforts are put into increasing the volume of the gold and foreign exchange reserves. “It is difficult work but a number of measures have been adopted and are being implemented. They allow preventing the decrease in the volume of the reserves. It is positively evaluated by credit rating agencies and international financial institutions,” said Yuri Seliverstov.

In his opinion, the launch of the program of structural reforms to the tune of $2 billion together with the European Fund for Stabilization and Development is an important factor. The relevant agreement has been signed. The first $500 million tranche has been received. “It means that our actions are positively evaluated by this international financial organization. I think the fact will not pass unnoticed by credit rating agencies either,” summed up the Belarusian Deputy Finance Minister.

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