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December 07, 2011 16:00

National Bank of Belarus forecasts 9150/$1 exchange rate in 2012

MINSK. Dec 7 (Interfax) - The National Bank of Belarus predicts an average annual exchange rate in 2012 of 9150 Belarusian rubles/$1, Nadezhda Yermakova, the bank's chairman, said in Minsk Wednesday.

"In our calculations we are working with a rate of 9150 rubles [to the $1] on average for the year," Yermakova said.

"But based on how the economic development forecast is built, we think the dollar will be weaker and the ruble stronger," she said.

Belarus plans to put a new 200,000 Bel. ruble banknote into circulation in the first quarter of 2012, she said.

"It will not come out at New Year, it will not be ready yet," Yermakova said, adding that "it is a long technical process."

"I think it will come out in the first quarter," she added.

It is difficult to predict what the exchange rate will be at the end of 2012, she said.

The average exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble since the introduction of a unified exchange rate on October 20 to the end of the year is 8600 Bel. rubles/$1. "I think we will keep the trend in December," Yermakova said, noting that the Belarusian ruble was seeing an upward trend.

The Belarusian Economy Ministry predicts that with the basic macro-forecast the exchange rate will be 9700 Bel. rubles/$1 at the end of 2012. The forecast is based on financing for government programs of 7 trillion Bel. rubles, a 1.5% rise in GDP, inflation of no more than 19% and a 0.5% increase in real incomes.

The National Bank of Belarus on October 20 changed its exchange rate policy, shifting from its target fluctuation range (+/-12%) for the dollar, euro and Russian ruble against the Belarusian ruble to a managed floating exchange rate, which will be kept in 2012. The exchange rate management will prevent daily fluctuations from exceeding 5%-10% through interventions.

The official exchange rate on December 7 stood at 8560 Bel. rubles/$1.


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