Belarus’ public debt down to BYN44.1bn in March

Public debt shrank by BYN1.3bn to BYN44.1bn (USD20.9bn) in Q1 2019, the FinMin reported. Thus in March alone it fell by another BYN0.2bn. Domestic debt in particular grew by BYN 0.1bn m/m to BYN8.7bn in March, but foreign debt shrank m/m to USD16.6bn. A year earlier, both foreign debt and total debt were a bit lower.

The FinMin’s breakdown shows that Belarus borrowed USD187m from abroad and repaid USD539m to foreign lenders in Q1’19. This included borrowing USD158m from the Russian government and banks, up from USD118m in January-February; repaying USD219m to the Russian government, up from USD194m in January-February; and repaying USD213m to China Eximbank, almost all of that in January.

Belarus also repaid USD88m to the Russia-dominated Eurasian development fund in January-March, and it expected that last USD200m tranche of the USD2bn stabilization loan from the fund in April. However, the money didn’t arrive, and the fund said not all of its conditions were met, in particular a condition to come up with amended bankruptcy legislation. Also, it is not clear when Belarus will receive a USD600m loan promised by Moscow.

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