Belarusians take loans expecting devaluation
10:11, — society
Queues to buy goods on credit can be seen in Minsk stores ahead of the New Year's Day.
A possible reason for the rush is cheaper loans offered by banks. Most banks offer interest rates of 47% against 56% earlier. Small loans (up to 2.5 million rubles for a month) can be taken at 35%, Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarusi writes.
The reduction in interest rates was expectable. The National Bank said two weeks ago that the banks giving loans at the interest rate two times higher than the current refinancing rate (47%) must put to the reserve the sum equal to that they issued to debtors. Banks find this system unprofitable. Some stopped issuing loans temporarily. Today, banks give loans, but interest rates fell to 47%.
The situation with loans is illustrated by queues for quick loans. Crowds of people gather around bank representatives working in big stores.
“It's difficult to say if people come here due to cheap loans or to buy gifts. We always have many customers in the last two weeks of December,” a shop assistant says. “People buy TVs on credit more often. They also buy major appliances. Most people prefer to buy goods on hire purchase without interest. But in this case the first installment should be at least 20% of the total price.”
Banks also reduce deposit rates.
Many Belarusians associate New Year's Day with possible problems on the currency market. The fall of the Belarusian ruble against the dollar has been gathering pace the last few months. The dollar rose by 100 rubles per month in June-October, but now it increases by 100 rubles every two weeks.
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