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UPDATE - Hungary international reserves rise €1.2bn to new peak in September

Hungary's international reserves stood at €38.764bn at the end of September, rising €1.21bn from a month earlier and reaching a new all-time high, preliminary data published by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) on Wednesday show.

The increase reflects the inflow of European Union transfers and items related to the Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK), the MNB press department said, adding that the bank's quarterly report, due to be published on October 14, will, as usual, provide more detail on changes in the reserves.

The data show a big, €930m rise in currency reserves in September to €35.6bn and a €257m rise in "other reserve assets", which contain financial derivatives and loans to non-bank non-residents, to almost €2.7bn.

Econews asked the MNB to elaborate on the September increase, the second steep rise in a row after a €1.4bn rise in August. In July when the Hungarian state paid €1.88bn to Russian oil and gas company Surgutneftegas for a 21.2% stake in Hungarian peer MOL and the reserves dropped €900m.

International reserves at the end of September were up €5.09bn from the end of 2010 and rose €5.088bn in twelve months.

Hungary's international reserves reached the previous all-time high of €37.637bn at the end of May this year, boosted by sovereign bond issues worth a combined €4bn between March and May. The spring bond issues matched this year's foreign expiries, of which a €1bn bond was repaid late June, cutting the reserves accordingly.

Another €1bond is due on October 28, and Hungary will start repaying its IMF-led international loan in late autumn, with the first €2bn installment due to the European Union in November.

In dollar terms, Hungary's international reserves stood at $52.51bn at the end of September, down $1.732bn from a month earlier, but up $7.522bn from the end of last December, and up $6.601bn in one year.