The National Bank of Romania (BNR) extended 7-day loans worth a total RON 4.9 bln (EUR 1.13 bln) to three banks, through a repo auction, at the new key interest rate of 5.5 pc a year, Mediafax informs. By conducting such operations, BNR offers cash to commercial banks, in exchange of state bonds. Last week, three banks attracted RON 5.382 bln (EUR 1.24 bln) from the Central Bank, also for seven days, at the annual key interest rate of 5.75 pc. Dealers say that, same as in January’s auctions, these loans were taken either by banks that cannot access cash from the market, or by local credit institutions that, in turn, lend money to the Finance Ministry, at decreasing yields. Starting October 17, BNR held repo auctions on a weekly basis. The interests posted by commercial banks Monday, for one-week loans, slightly declined from 3.26-3.76 pc to 3.09-3.59 pc.