Central government debt grew by BYN3.2bn or 7.6% to BYN45.4bn (USD21.1bn) last year, the FinMin announced. However, in December alone it inched down by BYN0.2bn, after rising by BYN0.5bn in November. Public debt grew at the expense of foreign debt last year, while domestic debt declined.
Foreign public debt was up another USD0.1bn to the record high USD16.9bn in December, and it grew by a total of USD0.2bn last year. In national currency equivalent, external debt grew by BYN0.6bn to BYN36.5bn in December. The FinMin’s breakdown shows that Belarus borrowed from China and Russia, and repaid mainly to Russia in December, and it kept borrowing also from IFIs. We recall that Belarus has been in difficult talks for a new Russian loan of late.
Domestic debt fell by BYN0.3bn over 2018 and by BYN0.8bn in December alone to BYN8.9bn. The FinMin said USD530m worth of FX-denominated domestic bonds was placed last year, while USD865m was repaid.