National Bank of Belarus explained what contributed to maintaining gold and foreign exchange reserves in 2022
During the National Bank’s Board expanded meeting, First Deputy Chairman of the Board Sergei Kalechits spoke about what contributed to maintaining the level of gold and foreign exchange reserves in 2022, BelTA reports
“In many ways, favourable trends in foreign trade contributed to maintaining the stability of the foreign exchange market in 2022. Last year, as a result of the formation of a record foreign trade surplus, enterprises received $2.7bn in net revenue. The balanced situation in the foreign exchange market made it possible to prevent an excess decrease in gold and foreign exchange reserves. Moreover, according to preliminary data, as of January 1st, 2023, international reserve assets amounted to $7.9bn (2.2 months of imports) with a target at the end of 2022 of at least $7bn. Last year, gold and foreign exchange reserves decreased by $0.5bn,” Sergei Kalechits said.
The maintenance of the level of gold and foreign exchange reserves was facilitated by the purchase by the National Bank of foreign currency in the domestic foreign exchange market, the receipt of foreign currency in favour of the Finance Ministry, as well as the postponement of the external debt to the Russian Federation. Moreover, a part of external state obligations was executed in Belarusian Roubles due to the de facto ban on Western banks to carry out financial transactions with the Government of Belarus.
Work to maintain international reserve assets will continue in 2023.
“Taking into account upcoming payments on external debt obligations, Belarus’ monetary policy guidelines for 2023 set the level of international reserve assets at the end of this year: at least $6bn,” he noted.