Press Release: IMF Supports Belarus's Decision to Widen the Exchange Rate Band

June 22, 2009

Press Release No. 09/225
June 22, 2009

Mr. Chris Jarvis, Head of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Belarus, issued the following statement in Washington D.C. today:

“We support the decision of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) to widen the exchange rate band from ±5 percent to ±10 percent. The widening of the band increases the flexibility of the exchange rate regime, which will make it easier for Belarus to absorb external shocks.

“The recent gradual depreciation of the exchange rate within the band will improve Belarus’s balance of payments. The decision by the NBRB last week to increase the interest rate on overnight lending to commercial banks was a positive step that will support economic and exchange rate stability.”

The de facto U.S. dollar peg was replaced with a peg to a currency basket in January 2009. The currency basket comprises the U.S. dollar, the euro and the Russian ruble in equal weights.


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