The central bank reserves, after growing by USD616m in February, inched down by USD98m to USD6.99bn in March, the central bank announced today. While growth in February was on the back of a new USD600m Eurobond, in March Belarus didn’t receive the expected USD200m tranche of a loan from the Russia-led Eurasian stabilisation fund, and had to repay a total of USD415m to foreign and domestic creditors. The reserves may grow in April if Belarus receives the tranche from the fund. Now they cover only about two months of future exports.
The central bank said it and the FinMin continued to place domestic FX-denominated bonds, and some FX was bought at the Belarusian Stock and Currency Exchange over March. Also, the price of gold picked up. The central bank’s breakdown shows that the share of FX in the reserves, after soaring to USD4.0bn in February, didn’t change significantly in March. The share of gold amounted to USD2.0bn. The share of ‘other reserves’, after having to USD0.5bn in February, remained at the same level in March.