Belarus loses 20% of foreign exchange reserves for two months

MINSK, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Belarusian international reserve assets calculated by IMF standards decreased by 20 percent for two months in 2011, said its National Bank in a statement released Thursday.

International reserve assets in February fell by 319.4 million U.S. dollars, or 7.4 percent after decreasing by 687.7 million dollars, or 13.7 percent in January.

On March 1, the country's international exchange reserves stood at 4.023 billion dollars against 5.030 billion dollars on January 1. Thus, for two months international reserves fell by 1.007 billion dollars.

In February, National Bank officials assured journalists that the second month of the year will not bring significant reduction in international reserves.

The National Bank puts the growth of international reserves in 2011 at no less than 1.2 billion dollars. The main factors for such growth must be the attraction of foreign direct investments on a net basis of 6.4-6.5 billion dollars, as well as the alignment of the situation in foreign trade in goods and services by improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the national economy.

In 2010, Belarusian international reserves decreased by more than 620 million dollars, or 11 percent year-on-year.


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