Belarus central bank hedges ruble deposits against FX risks

By bne IntelliNews December 19, 2014

All large Belarusian banks will introduce fixed-term guaranteed savings accounts, where deposits in Belarusian rubles will be indexed in the event of changes of the ruble exchange rate, the National Bank of Belarus (NBB) has announced.  “This will protect savings in the national currency from exchange rate risks and will increase their appeal compared to foreign currency,” the National Bank underlined.

Moreover, the National Bank increased the interest rates on constantly available two-way liquidity support transactions. “This, in turn, will result in a proportional increase in the interest rates on deposits in the national currency,” the National Bank said.

The monetary policy will be toughened in order to curb the increase in the money supply and to raise the cost of money. Banks are recommended to refrain from expanding the loan portfolio in Belarusian rubles, and from changing the currency of borrowed funds until 1 February 2015.

These and other measures will increase the attractiveness of savings in Belarusian rubles, balance out the currency market amidst increased demand for foreign currency, and prevent speculation.

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