Hungary international reserves dropped further in February

MNB

Hungary's international reserves stood at €34.766 billion at the end of February after €37.242 billion at the end of January, preliminary data published by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) on Wednesday show.

The end-of-January figure was modified from a preliminary €37.247 billion published on February 7.

In January, reserves fell from €37.774 at the end of December which was the second highest level ever.

End-of-February reserves were still up from €33.816 billion a year earlier.

As opposed to January when the drop almost exclusively reflected MNB euro sales to banks in relation to a government sponsored FX repayment scheme, in February "Other reserve assets" -- which contain financial derivatives, receivables on active repo transactions and loans to non-bank non-residents -- dropped to €2.947 billion from 5.369 at the and of January. "Other reserve assets" rose by €3.57 billion in January after a €441 million increase in December. At the end of December they stood at €1.804 billion, and they were at €2.298 billion at the end of February last year.

Foreign exchange reserves grew slightly to €31.021 billion in February from €31.013 billion at the end of January, and were also up on €30.538 billion at the end of February last year. In January, they dropped a hefty €4.102 billion from €35.115 billion at the end of December while MNB sold euro to the banks.

The two foreign issues expiring in 2012 are a Japanese yen 45 billion one due in July and a €1 billion bond due in November. Additionally, Hungary is due to start repaying the part owed to the IMF of its IMF-EU international package, approved late 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. Hungary is to repay a total of SDR 3.375 billion or close to €4 billion in quarterly installments to the IMF this year, including SDR 527 million due in the first quarter.

Gold reserves were unchanged at €131 million from January, but up in €119 million at the end of December and €81 million at the end of February last year.

In dollar terms, international reserves dropped to $46.802 billion from $49.149 billion at the end of January. They stood at $48.832 billion at the end of December and at $46.737 billion at the end of February last year.

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