Lukashenko says he may quit as president
Belarus hits EU with tit-for-tat sanctions
Belarusian police introduce colour-coded torture system for detained protesters
Kremlin publicly condemns Belarusian police brutality in hint of growing frustration with Lukashenko
Russian services PMI rises to 48.2, but remains underwater as recovery continues to slow
Russia to start mass vaccinations on December 7
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev calls on Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran to assist in creating Nakhchivan land corridor
FPRI BMB Russia: Sberbank releases a three-year transformation strategy to e-commerce concern
Ukraine’s banking sector continues recovery, but profits still lagging last year
Ukraine’s real wages up over 10% in October but have been stagnant in dollar terms for almost a year
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Public has confused opinions on resolving the Donbas conflict
Western Balkans plus Ukraine subsidised coal with over €900mn in 2018-2019
Estonian parcel robot firm Cleveron eyes €30mn state loan
Estonia’s chief auditor says €1bn in state COVID-19 loans issued haphazardly
Economic sentiment in CEE falls in November as recovery momentum splutters
Estonian animation studio Imepilt to hold IPO
Brighter days ahead: The economic bounce back in 2021
Central, Southeast Europe stock markets jump in anticipation of COVID-free future
VISEGRAD BLOG: An easing of trade tensions but still an uncertain situation for export-oriented Central Europe
Hungary's PM risks isolation as Poland mulls dropping EU budget veto
Poland ready to back down from veto of EU budget
Hungary's ruling party in damage control mode after MEP sex scandal bombshell
Poland’s PMI remains stuck just above the improvement line at 50.8 in November
Czech companies dominate this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE
Coronacrisis to get worse before it gets better forecasts wiiw
EU diplomats say no chance of Bulgaria removing veto for Skopje to start EU accession talks
IMF says downside risks to Albanian economy are increasing
EU ministers fail to agree on launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia
Western Balkans commit to green agenda and regional common market at Sofia summit
Bosnia’s opposition ousts nationalist parties in major cities
Bosnia’s main ethnic parties fight to hold onto power in local elections
Southeast Europe’s EU members to get biggest boost from next budget and recovery funds
Bulgaria imposes 3-week lockdown to slow down COVID-19 spread
CEE politicians highlight trade and security ties as they congratulate Biden
Breakaway Transnistria fully under Sheriff’s control as Obnovlenie party sweeps board in parliament election
Moldova’s presidential election is over, now the battle for the parliament begins
Moldova’s foreign policy reset
Russian establishment quick to congratulate Moldova's new president-elect
Rising COVID-19 cases put intense pressure on CEE healthcare systems
MEPs urge European Commission to act against Hungarian media financing in North Macedonia and Slovenia
North Macedonia mulls decriminalising cannabis to boost tourism
Retail surpass pre-crisis peak as Romanians shop instead of holiday
Romania’s stability election
Romanian venture capital firm Catalyst launches new €40mn-50mn fund for TMT
The state is back in business
Slovenian PM Jansa stands alongside Hungary and Poland in EU rule of law row
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Turkish number crunchers deliver November inflation surprise of 14%
Erdogan needs to go says analyst assessing Turkey’s economic collapse
Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict
In Karabakh deal, as many questions as answers
Protesters flood Yerevan demanding Armenia’s “traitor” PM quit over Nagorno-Karabakh surrender
Who emerge as the real winners from the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Below average 2020 wine production destined for volatile and uncertain global market
Iran calls on Saudis to limit $67bn defence spending to Tehran’s $10bn
Iranian prosecutors pledge to pursue Trump for Soleimani killing even after he leaves White House
No reaction from Kazakh elites as bombshell FT report says Nazarbayev’s son in law siphoned millions from pipeline scheme
UK court freezes $5bn in assets connected to fugitive Kazakh banker Ablyazov
Attack of the Debt Tsunami: global debt soars to a new all-time high
Kyrgyzstan's proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion
Kyrgyzstan's China debt: Between crowdfunding and austerity
CFC joins RWC in assessing KAZ Minerals buyout offer as under-valuation
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage
No surprises in Tajikistan as Rahmon retains presidency with 91% of vote
A Tajikistan poised on verge of economic calamity set for vote
Tajikistan revives on-off dispute with Iran
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
Turkmenistan: Everybody yurts, sometimes
Dirty money investigation reviews identified payments worth $1.4bn linked to Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan unveils extensive privatisation programme
Download the pdf version
Belarus was supposed to join the Clearstream international system of settlements and payments this summer, in a move that could have transformed its domestic debt market by making locally traded Belarusian ruble bonds directly available to traders around the world, but its accession has been delayed, says Belarusian Finance Minister Maksim Yermolovich.
“It's our hope that we can open the local market to foreign investors and provide access to our local bond market, especially Belarusian-denominated bonds. But we still have some problems with the linking of our depository system to the international system,” Yermolovich told bne IntelliNews in an interview on June 13.
Last year Clearstream launched a “Clearstream-lite” programme to hook the domestic capital markets of Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Belarus up to its international system that allows traders to buy local government and corporate bonds denominated in the local currency from the comfort of their dealing desks in the international capitals.
When Russia was hooked up to the Clearstream system in 2012 it caused a revolution in the domestic capital markets as foreign investors flooded in to snap up the high-yielding bonds. Today foreign investors hold about a third of Russia’s outstanding Ministry of Finance OFZ treasury bills, or $20bn, which has become a significant source of funding for the Russian government.
Georgia was hooked up first in 2018, followed by Armenia. Ukraine went on line in May this year and has seen foreign participation soar as foreign investors bought up around $1bn of local UAH-denominated t-bills and already account for about 6% of the total bonds outstanding from nothing at the start of the year.
Belarus was supposed to come online at about the same time as Ukraine, but for reasons that remain unclear to the government its accession has been delayed.
“We are in negotiation with Clearstream. We have prepared a road map of financial market reforms and how to change the legislation to reach the high standard of the international market to have the same as Ukraine and Georgia,” says Yermolovich. “We didn't receive a response from Clearstream. But we hope to reach agreement soon.”
Clearstream didn't specify what was causing the delay, but reiterated that it was committed to hooking Belarus up to the system and that talks are ongoing, with more meetings between the two sides slated for this week.
"Belarus is definitely a market we are interested in to further complement our CIS/CEE offering. Clearstream maintains a continued dialogue with the Belarus capital market stakeholders (like with others in the region) on supporting initiatives to increase the international attractiveness of local bond markets," a Clearstream spokesperson told bne IntelliNews.
Yermolovich was in London to meet with investors and lay the groundwork for a return to the Eurobond market with an issue slated for 2020. The minister says that investors are enthusiastic about the potential Eurobond issue, but are also keen buying the locally traded debt.
Yermolovich also had talks with Clearstream’s rival payments system Euroclear on a tie up. “I tried to explain how important it was to have such a linkage and connect Belarus to the global finance system,” Yermolovich told bne IntelliNews. “We are ready to be more collaborative and move faster to bring the legislation into line with the international norms, but the decision is not on our side. But I think in the near future we will reach an agreement on how to move forward.”
Belarus, like the other countries in the region, is on a drive to deepen its domestic capital market and expand the pool of potential investors. For their part the yield-hungry international investors are keen on the high-yield local currency bonds, especially since the US Federal Reserve bank made it clear that it would halt its monetary policy tightening earlier this year making investors “risk on” again.
“For business we are very attractive for the foreign investors,” says Yermolovich. “The size of [the bond] business and the size of potential operations on the market is more than $20bn as currently we already have some $5bn as foreign investment. It's already a big business.”
Yermolovich is clearly frustrated by the slow pace of progress and the delay in hooking up to the Clearstream system, which is rapidly becoming a standard item in the toolbox of finance ministries across the region.
“We see a huge business perspective. We are ready to change the legislation. We are ready to move fast in this direction. We don't want intermediaries in this business. We want to be connected directly,” Yermolovich said.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request have been expired. Please,
Access recover request have been expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: