Government debt inched down by BYN0.2bn to BYN39.6bn (USD20.2bn) in August, after inching up by BYN0.2bn in July, according to figures published by the FinMin today. Over January-August, public debt grew by BYN2.7bn, said the FinMin. The decline in August was entirely at the expense of domestic debt, which was down by another BYN0.2bn to BYN9.3bn. Domestic debt has continued sliding after a peak of BYN11.2bn, which was reached in February 2016. The government placed USD414m of FX-denominated domestic bonds over January-August, including only USD7m in August. At the same time, it repaid USD998m and BYN171m to domestic bondholders in January-August, including USD100m and BYN50m in August alone.
At the same time, external debt reached a new record of USD15.7bn by end-August. The FinMin’s breakdown shows that Belarus borrowed more from Russia (USD53m), China (USD13m) and the IBRD (USD10m) in August, while also repaying USD37m to Russia. Public debt has likely increased in September at the expense of a new USD700m loan approved by Russia in August for 10 years.