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US dollar reaches 8,600 rubels at additional trading session


The US dollar reached 8,600 rubels at the first additional trading session at the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange on September 14.

The euro reached 12,100 rubels and the Russian ruble 305 rubels at the session.

The additional session was introduced to determine the Belarusian rubel’s market value and provide all those who want to buy foreign currency with such an opportunity.

Purchases at the primary trading session, which are made at the official exchange rates, are limited to the purpose of financing critical imports, such as natural gas and electricity, and making other urgent payments.

Speaking to reporters after the session, Taras Nadolny, deputy chairman of the National Bank of Belarus (NBB), noted that the supply of foreign exchange at the additional trading session totaled roughly $8 million, or less than five percent of the country's daily export proceeds, while the demand was several times as much as the supply.

The rubel will be strengthening against the dollar as the supply increases, he predicted.

The National Bank did not conduct foreign currency interventions at the maiden additional session, Mr. Nadolny said.

"We have free access to the market and if an exporter decides to sell foreign currency, it can exercise its right. Or, it may refrain from doing so if it finds it necessary. But we will not be giving any recommendations on the exchange rate and trends," the NBB deputy chairman said.

The National Bank projects the rubel's official exchange rate and market value determined during the additional trading session to be nearing each other within the next two months.

"We cannot speak of a devaluation so far. Our task is to achieve an equilibrium rate," he said, adding that a uniform exchange rate could be secured soon.

Mr. Nadolny announced that at the additional trading session some banks had bought foreign currency for selling it to individuals through their currency exchange outlets. "But in general banks need a couple of days to supply their currency exchange outlets with the required amount of foreign cash," he said.

Banks are already free to set market exchange rates at their currency exchange outlets, he stressed. //BelaPAN

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