Belarus Allows 10 Percent Ruble Devaluation

Belarus effectively allowed a 10 percent devaluation of its ruble in a bid to shore up dwindling foreign currency reserves and boost companies' access to foreign currency.

In a statement, the country’s central bank said banks would be allowed to buy and sell foreign currency at an exchange rate that deviates as much as 10 percent from the official rate.

The move comes as Belarus struggles to ease pressure on its strained public finances, as reserves dwindle and international ratings services downgrade the country's debt.

The International Monetary Fund earlier this month urged authorities to take action to narrow an "unsustainable" current account deficit that, at 16 percent of gross domestic product, is one of the world's widest.

Belarus devalued its currency by some 20 percent in 2009 and received a $2.5 billion loan from the IMF to help it weather the economic crisis.


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