Hungary's international reserves rose €91 million in February to €16.718 billion at the end of last month, preliminary figures published on the website of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) on Tuesday show.International reserves rose €997 million from the end of 2005 and were up €3.428 billion from a year earlier. In dollar terms, international reserves were worth $19.853 billion at the end of February, down $273 million from the end of January but up $1.25 billion from the end of December and rising $2.229 billion in twelve months.
The increase compared to end of 2005 reflects a €1 billion 10.5-year bond issued by the Republic of Hungary in January, the proceeds of which could have been converted for the Treasury into forints directly by the central bank, the reserves figures suggest. The central bank said early January it will continue to convert part of the net proceeds from the government's foreign currency borrowing into forints on the interbank forex market, and will convert the other part itself, thereby increasing foreign currency reserves. Boosting reserves this year to between €16 billion and €17 billion is the central bank's stated policy, National Bank president Zsigmond Járai said late January.