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MOL buy eats into MNB external assets, central govt deposits

Deposits of the central government at the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) fell by HUF 528.5 billion and the central bank's external assets dropped by HUF 541.6 billion in July from the previous month because of the government's purchase of a stake in Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, the MNB's preliminary statistical balance sheet published Friday shows.

The government paid €1.88 billion for a 21.2% stake in Hungarian oil and gas company MOL early in July.

Forint liquidity of the banking sector fell a little in July, reflected mainly in decline in credit institutions' holdings of two-week MNB bills and overnight deposits, the MNB said.

Overnight deposits fell by HUF 93.5 billion from June to July. The value of two-week MNB bills held by residents rose by HUF 53.8 billion but the value held by non-residents dropped by HUF 136.2 billion.

The average of credit institutions' current account balances with the MNB remained broadly unchanged in July compared to June, the MNB said. Balances slightly exceeded reserve requirements, with excess reserves of HUF 5.1 billion compared to the sector's total reserve requirement of HUF 464 billion.

Currency in circulation rose by HUF 31.4 billion to HUF 2,378.2 billion in July.