Individuals better off keeping savings with bank
The National Bank notes that the trend is currently for Belarusians to save their extra income with banks. In January, personal deposits in the national currency rose by Br3 trillion (or 13 percent) — reaching almost Br26 trillion. In fact, Dollar deposits also rose: by $32m last month. An impressive sum of over $7,320m is currently held with banks.
By Yuri Chernyakevich
Experts believe the trend will continue: in the national and foreign currencies. Alexander Mukha, a financial analyst with Business Forecast Research Group, explains, “The inflow of deposits into our banking system depends on Belarusian Rouble rate dynamics and inflation. If the domestic currency market remains stable and inflation moderate, we can say that Belarusians should continue saving with our banks.” He feels certain that many individuals are now attempting to make money from the high rates being paid on Rouble deposits. “In future, banks will stop offering such rates (40 percent and above). People understand this and are, hence, trying to take advantage of this ‘last chance’. As a result, Belarusian Rouble bank deposits are growing, while demand for foreign currency is falling,” Mr. Mukha adds.
National Bank data shows that Belarusians sold almost $100m more than they bought in January. “This is the best result since last May. From January-April 2013, individuals mostly sold foreign currency but, in May, the situation changed: Belarusians began selling more Dollars than buying. In January 2014, this negative trend broke — partly due to the National Bank’s tough monetary policy,” stresses Mr. Mukha.