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National Bank: U.S. dollar will cost Br8,000-8,500 in Q1 2012

MINSK, 26 December (BelTA) – The National Bank of Belarus projects the U.S. dollar to cost Br8,000-8,500 in the first quarter of 2012, Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank Nadezhda Yermakova told the Kontury program on the ONT TV channel, BelTA has learnt.

Earlier the National Bank had projected that the average annual U.S. dollar exchange rate in 2012 will stand at Br9,150. Nadezhda Yermakova said that this is a pessimistic projection. “Today the exchange rate is much lower. We already see that it (the U.S. dollar – BelTA’s note) will stand somewhere at Br8,000-8,500 for the first quarter for sure. After that everything will depend on our foreign trade situation,” she said.

Not only domestic, but also external factors will shape the currency market in 2012. “We cannot be isolated from the rest of the world taking into consideration that we are an open economy. The global financial crisis will be there for a year or two, at the minimum, therefore it will also have an impact on us,” Nadezhda Yermakova said.
When asked whether gold and foreign currency reserves will be used to maintain the exchange rate of the national currency next year, Nadezhda Yermakova said that the interference in the exchange rate formation will be minimal. “We can throw only that amount of foreign currency to the market what we have above gold and foreign currency reserves. Gold and foreign currency reserves should always be at stock and stay intact. They showed gold is vanishing. It is not vanishing, quite the opposite, we are buying more gold to diversify our foreign currency risks,” she said.

Nadezhda Yermakova added that it is up to Belarusians to choose the currency for their savings next year. “Giving advice is a thankless occupation; each should make a decision independently. I keep my money in Belarusian rubles because the interest rate is high,” the Chairman of the Board of the National Bank concluded.