Monday, February 2, 2009

Romania cbank FX reserves drop to 26 bln euros

BUCHAREST, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The Romanian central bank's hard currency reserves, excluding 103.7 tonnes of gold, fell by around 200 million euros on the month to 26 billion euros ($33 billion) at the end of January, central bank data showed.

Inflows were 3.089 billion euros, coming mainly from changes in the minimum reserve requirement on hard currency liabilities for commercial banks, transactions on the interbank market and income from foreign reserves management.

Outflows totalled 3.3 billion euros, reflecting interbank transactions, payments to service Romania's public external debt, changes in the minimum reserve requirement and payments from the European Commission account.

Over the last several months, dealers have suspected the central bank intervened occasionally as economic concerns and uncertainty over fiscal policies following November's parliamentary election weighed on the leu.

The central bank has declined to comment on potential indirect intervention in the currency market. Payments maturing in February to service external public debt totalled 80 million euros.

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