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MNB: External assets rise on weaker forint in March

Stock of external assets reached HUF 11,018.2 billion at the end of March, rising HUF 167.3 billion from the end of the previous month on revaluations because of the weaker forint, preliminary data published by the National Bank of Hungary on Friday show. Revaluations added HUF 338.5 billion to the stock during the period, the central bank's statistical balance sheet shows. Transactions – including a HUF 56 billion repayment by the MNB and a HUF 96.2 billion repayment by the central government on an International Monetary Fund loan Hungary took out at the height of the financial crisis – took HUF 171.2 billion off the stock. Forint liquidity of Hungary's banking sector rose in March, reflected by an increase in the average stock of two-week MNB bills, the central bank's main tool for soaking up excess liquidity. Average stock of the bills rose by HUF 209 billion to HUF 4,620.2 billion in March. Deposits of the central government fell by HUF 180.8 billion to HUF 1,597.1 billion at the end of March from the previous month. Transactions – the IMF loan repayment and a JPY 50 billion maturing bond – took HUF 214.8 billion off the stock.