Thursday, October 8, 2009

Romania cbank makes 2nd repo auction to test market

BUCHAREST, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Romania's central bank (BNR) organised a second repo auction on Wednesday, to see whether there were technical problems in ensuring 'adequate' liquidity for banks, the BNR said.

The bank did not explain what the potential technical problems were that may have kept money market rates at around 10 percent for several days, including early on Wednesday.

But its statement comes after commercial banks said interbank rates were kept artificially high by the central bank to defend the leu currency by injecting less liquidity than the market needed, making it expensive to sell the unit.

The BNR injected about 11 billion lei ($3.8 billion) in the first auction and another 4 billion lei in the second, both at a fixed rate of 8 percent with a two-day maturity.

'The central bank has a proactive policy to ensure normal functioning of the money market,' central bank spokesman Mugur Stet said in a statement. 'This means interest levels must stay around the monetary policy rate.'

At 1600 GMT, overnight rates stood at 8.53/9.53 percent , about one percentage point lower from levels before the auction. The central bank described morning levels as 'abnormally' high, far above its benchmark rate of 8 percent.

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