by Emma Saunders
The central bank of Belarus will cut the refinancing rate by 50 basis points to 13 per cent, effective February 17. Last year, the bank lowered the rate once in December - to 13.5 per cent from 14 per cent. The bank has said it expects further falls, to 9-12 per cent, in 2010.
Many emerging economies are cutting rates - or, indeed, devaluing their currencies - because of large inflows of capital strengthening their currencies and harming exports. Investors have been, until recently, braving the risk to benefit from higher interest rates. This does not appear to be the case in Belarus. Following an IMF-imposed 20 per cent devaluation of the ruble last year (chart, circled), the currency has weakened further against the dollar.