Belarus' gold and foreign currency reserves rose 4.9% to $7,2779mn as of 1 May, 2021, according to the preliminary data the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus published on May 7, as cited by BelTA.
That was despite the fact that the population bought $350mn more foreign currency than they sold in the first four months of this year, the central bank said.
Analysts feared Belarus would experience a run on its hard currency reserves after the population converted $1.5bn into dollars as widespread protests broke out following the disputed presidential election last August 9, but it seems fears of an economic crisis have faded.
In April 2021, the country's gold and foreign currency reserves went up by $337.9mn (or 4.9%), following the March reduction by $174.5mn (or 2.5%).
“The increase in the volume of the gold and foreign exchange reserves in April 2021 was mainly due to the purchase of foreign currency by the National Bank via the Belarusian Currency Stock Exchange, the increase in the cost of monetary gold and also the foreign currency budget revenue,” the central bank said in a statement.
In April 2021 the planned repayment of foreign and domestic obligations in foreign currency amounted to $105mn, according to the central bank.
According to the country's main monetary guidelines for 2021, the volume of international reserve assets is expected to make up at least $6bn on 1 January, 2022.
Nevertheless, the population remains nervous and is still buying foreign exchange to hold as savings as the conflict between the people of Belarus and the president continues.
In January-April 2021 Belarusians bought $348.9mn worth of foreign currency more than they sold, the NBRB stated on May 7, BelTA reports.
In January-April 2021 nationals bought the equivalent of $3.408bn in cash and cashless forms and sold $3.059bn worth of foreign currency. The net purchase of foreign currency by nationals totalled $348.9mn.
In January-April 2021 Belarusian corporations bought the equivalent of $8,229.6bn and sold $8,444.9bn worth of foreign currency. Non-residents of Belarus bought $134.8mn worth of foreign currency and sold $330.6mn.