National Bank head comments on exchange rate policy
The Council of the Republic (upper parliamentary house) on October 10 approved the draft 2013 state budget.
Finance Minister Andrey Kharkavets told the Council that the budget was projected to be free of deficit, with national budget revenues and expenditures to amount to 121,720.3 billion rubels each, 26.1 percent more than the estimated 2012 levels.
The budget is based on projections that the nation’s GDP will grow by 8.5 percent next year, and that the rubel`s rate against the US dollar would be 8,950 per dollar.
Nadzeya Yermakova, head of the National Bank, told reporters following the Council’s meeting that the rubel’s exchange rate would not depend on the state budget, which she said would depend on the economy’s performance and, in particular, on the volume of exports, which in turn could strengthen the national currency.
The National Bank does not set exchange rates for the rubel but only smooth fluctuations in the rates, Ms. Yermakova noted. “By the way, we purchased $5 million today at the [Belarusian Currency and Stock] Exchange,” she said, explaining that the demand was lower than the supply there on Wednesday. “If the supply of foreign exchange is smaller than the demand, the National Bank takes measures to satisfy it,” she said.
According to Ms. Yermakova, the rubel is unlikely to fall below 9,000 against the US dollar before the end of 2012.
She also said that the National Bank would continue to support the liquidity of banks but would do this in a limited manner to enable them to make current payments and not to issue loans. //