Central Bank forex reserves end 2013 on rise up to EUR 32.5 bln


On December 31, 2013, National Bank of Romania’s foreign exchange reserves stood at EUR 32,525 million, compared to EUR 32,414 million on November 30th 2013, a press release informs.
During the month, the following flows have taken place: EUR 1,391 million inflows, representing changes in the foreign exchange reserve requirements of the credit institutions, inflows into the European Commission’s account, inflows into the Ministry of Public Finances’ accounts a.s.o.; EUR 1,280 million outflows, representing changes in the foreign exchange reserve requirements of the credit institutions, interest and principal payments on foreign currency public debt a.s.o. The interest and principal payments on foreign currency public debt category include the principal instalments on Romania’s loan from the International Monetary Fund (with the National Bank of Romania’s payments totalizing approximately EUR 228 million equivalent and the Ministry of Public Finances’ payments amounting to approximately EUR 120 million equivalent).
The gold stock remained unchanged at 103.7 tonnes. However, following the change in the international price of gold, its value amounted to EUR 2,909 million. The international reserves of Romania (foreign currencies and gold) on December 31, 2013 stood at EUR 35,434 million, compared to EUR 35,466 million on November 30, 2013.
During the month of January 2014, the payments due on public and publicly guaranteed foreign currency denominated debt amount to approximately EUR 257 million.
Four years ago, BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu said during a press conference on Romania’s international reserves, which certain politicians suggested they should be used to pay pensions and wages, that this is not possible from the legal point of view and anyway, the gold would suffice to pay the pensions no more than one year. According to Isarescu, if the reserves declined, Romania would be forced to pay much faster some of the debts, and the State would not be able to borrow anymore. “We would enter a vicious circle,” Isarescu stressed at that moment.
New BNR regulations, applied including to branches
of foreign banks
The new regulations of the National Romanian Bank (BNR) regarding the prudential requirements for credit institutions that was published in the Official Gazette and came into force on January 1, 2014, will apply including in the case of such branches of foreign credit institutions, Agerpres reports. Thus, according to the new regulations, the minimum own funds requirements to be applied in 2014 will be a Level 1 basic own funds rate of 4.5 per cent and a Level 1 own funds rate of 6 per cent. ‘The minimum level of the aggregated capital and of the own funds of a credit union will be the equivalent of 10 million euros,’ says the new regulations of the BNR.

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