MINSK, Feb. 7, 2011 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Belarus' gold and currency reserves decreased by 687.7 million U.S. dollars, or 13.7 percent, in January, amounting to 4.3 billion dollars on February 1, the National Bank said Monday. The bank said the main reasons are seasonal factors - execution of payments in foreign currency liabilities, and decline in foreign exchange earnings, and higher energy bills. The volume of gold reserves was negatively influenced by falling prices for precious metals on world markets.
"The existing level of reserves is sufficient to meet the priorities of monetary policy to maintain a stable exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble within the established corridor values," the bank said in a statement. "Nevertheless, in order to strengthen macroeconomic and financial stability, a range of additional measures, aimed at increasing the level of foreign reserves, is currently being undertaken by the National Bank jointly with the Government," said the statement. The bank said Belarus must increase its international reserve by at least 1.2 billion dollars in 2011 to realize its monetary and credit policy.
In so doing, it must attract a net foreign direct investment of 6.4-6.5 billion dollars, and improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the national economy, the bank said.