Bloomberg News

Belarusian Central Bank Urged to Cut Rates ‘Sharply,’ Belta Says

May 11, 2012

Belarus should lower its benchmark refinancing rate “sharply” this quarter to unlock loan resources that companies need to expand, Belta reported, citing First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko.

Semashko asked the Finance Ministry, central bank and Economy Ministry to draft a proposal on reducing the main interest rate by the end of the year to the inflation level of no more than 22 percent to 25 percent, according to the state- run news service.

The central bank today cut the refinancing rate for a fourth time this year, decreasing it by 2 percentage points to 34 percent, effective May 16. Central bank Chairman Nadezhda Ermakova said April 4 that the regulator planned to reduce the rate by 1 to 2 percentage points each month this year.

The Belarusian economy grew 2.9 percent in the first four months from a year earlier, down from a 12.3 percent increase during the same period in 2011, the state statistics committee said on its website today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at akudrytski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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