MNB inernational reserves rise €447 mln in February
The National Bank of Hungaryʼs (MNB) international reserves stood at €31.715 billion at the end of February, up €447 million from the end of the previous month, preliminary data released today show, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.
The reserves were down €4.692 bln from €36.4 bln a year earlier. The reserves reached €38.2 bln at the end of January, the second highest level ever.
There were no major foreign issues or expiries in February.
Of the main components of the reserves, other reserve assets, which contain financial derivatives, receivables on active repo transactions and loans to non-bank non-residents, dropped €566 mln last month to €870 mln after an almost €1.3 bln jump in January.
Currency reserves, which include currency, deposits and securities, rose €716 mln after a January drop of €320 mln, and reached a preliminary €29.6 bln at the end of February. Monetary gold reserves rose €11 mln to €112 mln and the reserve position at the International Monetary Fund rose €287 mln to €381 mln.
The reserves rose for the second month after a €2.8 bln drop sent them to a more than two-year low in December. FX government bond expiries, the expiries of central bank exchange rate swaps related to the conversion of retail FX loans and of swaps providing FX liquidity as well as cross-rate changes were the factors behind the December fall.
It is the MNBʼs stated policy to reduce the international reserves. The reduction is to go parallel with a decrease in the countryʼs short-term external debt that is without increasing the countryʼs vulnerability. Factors reducing the FX reserves include the MNBʼs self-financing program (a shift towards local banks and the population as well as to the HUF share in the financing of government debt) and the conversion of retail FX loans into forints.
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