7 Aug 2023 15:52

Belarusian gold, FX reserves rise 2.3% in July, 0.6% in 7M to $7.974 bln

MINSK. Aug 7 (Interfax) - Belarusian gold and foreign-exchange reserves rose 2.3% or $182 million to $7.974 billion during July, the National Bank of Belarus said.

The reserves fell 1% or $80.6 million in June and 1.2% or $96.1 million in May. They rose 0.6% or $44 million in January-July.

The National Bank published data on the structure of gold and foreign exchange reserves for the first time in a year.

Gold in the reserves grew 8.6% in 7M and 3.1% in July to $3.41 billion, foreign currency assets fell 7.4% and grew 2% to $3.16 billion, IMF Special Drawing Rights rose 1.9% in 7M to $1.4 billion and other assets fell 20% in 7M to $0.4 million.

According to an NBB statistical report on currency market operations, net sales of foreign currency by individuals amounted to $381 million and net sales by non-resident companies to $1.182 billion in January-July. Belarusian banks remained net buyers of foreign currency on the market with $585.7 million and Belarusian enterprises with $466.7 million. Thus, net sales of foreign currency in all segments of the foreign exchange market totaled $511 million in the seven months, compared with $198.8 million in H1 2023. Net supply in the market rose mainly due to a decrease in net foreign currency purchases by enterprises and an increase in sales by non-residents. The NBB said the public remained net sellers of foreign currency for the sixth month in a row in July.

The National Bank forecasts gold and foreign exchange reserves will be at least $6 billion at end-2023, taking into account foreign and domestic debt repayments.

The reserves fell 5.9% to $7.93 billion in 2022 after rising 12.8% to $8.425 billion in 2021 and falling 20.5% to $7.47 billion in 2020.