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MINSK, 4 January (BelTA) – According to the preliminary data, Belarus’ gold and foreign currency reserves totaled $7,157.6 million (in equivalent) as of 1 January 2019, BelTA learned from the Information and Public Relations Department of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
In December 2018, the country’s gold and foreign currency reserves shrank by $282.3 million (or 3.8%) following the November growth by $332.3 million (or 4.7%).
The National Bank and the government of the Republic of Belarus honored the foreign and domestic obligations in foreign currency in the amount of about $940 million (including $470 million ahead of schedule) in December 2018.
In December 2018 Belarus’ gold and foreign exchange reserves were bolstered thanks to the budget revenues, including export duties on oil and oil products, the purchase of foreign currency by the National Bank via the Belarusian Currency Stock Exchange, revenues from selling government bonds nominated in foreign currency by the National Bank and the Finance Ministry. The increased cost of monetary gold also played a positive role in maintaining the country’s gold and forex reserves.
According to the country’s main monetary guidelines for 2018 the volume of international reserve assets, taking into account the honoring of domestic and foreign commitments in foreign currency was supposed to reach at least $6 billion on 1 January 2019. All in all, in 2018 the reserves shrank by $157.7 million (or by 2.2%). The government and the National Bank paid back about $5.7 billion in foreign currency debts in 2018.
In 2018, the gold and foreign currency reserves were replenished mostly from sources other than debt financing, namely through taxes, duties and other fees in foreign currency, as well as due to the purchase of foreign currency on the domestic forex market. Apart from that, the National Bank and the Finance Ministry issued foreign currency bonds on the domestic market and placed eurobonds on external financial markets.
In line with the country’s main monetary guidelines for 2019, the volume of international reserve assets is supposed to make up at least $7.1 billion on 1 January 2020.
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