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Belarus’ refinancing rate projected at 16-17% in 2014

MINSK, 31 October (BelTA) – The country’s main interest rate is projected at the level of 16-17% in 2014, First Vice Premier Vladimir Semashko said at the joint meeting of the two houses of Parliament on 31 October, BelTA has learnt.

Vladimir Semashko stressed: “Head of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus Nadezhda Yermakova reported that all the estimates for the next year are based on the refinancing rate at 16-17%. The refinancing rate is projected to go further down to 13% in December.”

The First Vice Premier believes that the expected reduction of the refinancing rate will make loans for the real production sector more accessible next year. According to him, the rate on loans in the national currency is unreasonably high today.

It is my personal position. It is widely supported in the government and by the Prime Minister in particular. Today’s annual 45-53% rate on loans in the national currency is unreasonable high,” Vladimir Semashko said.

For instance, if compared to Ukraine, Belarus has better performance parameters in terms of GDP per capita, foreign trade balance, external debt. However, Ukraine offers loans in the national currency at 16-17% per annum. In Belarus the interest on such loans cost 45-53%. “The best-performing companies in Belarus cannot afford loans at 45-53% per annum. This may mean the loss of floating capital, bankruptcy,” the First Vice Premier said.

In his words, high interest rates are a pressing issue, which has been discussed many times already and should be settled next year.