ECR: High economic and political risk leaves Belarus languishing


Matthew Turner
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Belarus’s country risk score has stabilized during the past six months but the country still languishes at the foot of ECR’s global and CEE rankings.

ECR contributors have recorded increased risk for Belarus from June 2011. The nation’s overall risk profile has stabilized somewhat in the second quarter of the year, but the sovereign is still down by 0.4 points since the beginning of the year. 

The sovereign’s high risk profile can largely be attributed to Belarus’s low economic score, which decreased by 1.75 points to 32.25 from Q1 2012. This is 15.2 points lower than the Central and Eastern European average


Scores across all economics sub-factors have decreased since Q1 2012, bar monetary policy and currency stability, which remains unchanged at 2.2 points. Belarus’s GNP outlook indicator witnessed the largest decrease, falling by 0.7 points to 3.4 points.

Belarus’s political assessment score at 29.03 remains the lowest out of ECR’s three main assessment indicators.

It experienced a 15.2 score decrease between June 2011 and January 2012, after a severe economic crisis left the country on the brink of default.

According to a recent article in the Financial Times: “The economy has since stabilized, thanks to a decision to unify exchange rates and to let the steeply depreciated Belarusian ruble float, as well as a $3 billion bailout from the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Community, a grouping of ex-Soviet states.” 

Belarus sits in ECR tier five, which includes countries that have little or no access to capital markets and high barriers to investment.

Additionally, the sovereign’s score decrease has coincided with falling ECR survey scores for Russia and Ukraine. For example, between June 2011 and January 2012, Russia and Ukraine recorded an overall score decrease of 8.5 and 10 points respectively, while Belarus experienced a 15.2 score decrease during this period.

This article was originally published by Euromoney Country Risk.