Contribution to financial stability

The average annual rate of refinancing in July could reach 14-16 percent a year
By Svetlana Sokolova 

Such figures are given by the National Bank in ‘Basic Guidelines of Monetary and Credit Policy of Belarus for 2014’.

Currently, the refinancing rate is 23.5 percent, though it was planned that by the end of last year it would be closer to 13-15 percent. In spite of the fact that the planned indicator has not been reached, a rate decrease nevertheless was seen. The figure dropped by 6.5 percent last year. “The refinancing rate in January 2014 will remain at the former level, and hereafter its changes will be carried out depending on dynamics of inflation and the situation on the financial market and will be of smooth character,” emphasise the workers of the National Bank.

At the same time, many experts notice that the refinancing rate last year was not a key rate in the economy and it is quite probable that situation will not change this year too, even in spite of the fact that it defines the limiting rate on credits. Such a tendency is explainable. “The refinancing rate is that rate on which the National Bank finances commercial banks, but it is necessary to consider that it is not always possible to receive resources at this rate, therefore banks use other channels of money reception where rates are higher. After all, the refinancing rate is the bottom border of percent on which financial establishments can attract credits. Therefore today it is not the only rate by which it is necessary to be guided,” explained the Candidate of Economic and Legal Sciences, Sergey Ovseiko. “If the National Bank completely satisfied all applications of banks for liquidity through interbank crediting at refinancing rate, there would be no need for deposits. But the National Bank’s offer of monetary resources is limited, therefore, when it was impossible to lend in the bank, money was borrowed from the population at depositary rates.”

As far as depositary rates are concerned, the maintenance of Rouble deposits at an attractive level which would provide protection against inflation and a higher level of profitability in comparison with percent on deposits becomes a base principle of interest-rate policy in 2014. “In turn it will promote the strengthening of confidence in the national currency and the ‘de-dollarisation’ of the economy,” noted the workers of the National Bank.

According to the expert, as for prospects of the credit-depositary market as a whole, it is difficult to predict something concrete. “The first question consists of the following — in what currency will the population prefer to keep their savings? National or foreign? The Rouble exchange rate will influence this,” Mr. Ovseiko commented. “The second important factor is the policy of the National Bank. Reduction in the interest rate of refinancing, for example, will cause an increase in offers of money, which will lead to increase of volume of credits on the one hand, and decrease of the number of deposits on the other hand.”

Rouble deposits in Belarus have grown by 20 percent during the last year, while currency deposits increased almost by 10 percent.
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