The National Bank of Romania (BNR) yesterday extended loans worth a total RON 6.3 bln (EUR 1.44 bln), maturing in a week, to four banks, in a repo auction held at the key interest rate of 5.25 pc a year, Mediafax reports. Through this type of operations, the Central Bank lends cash to commercial banks, in exchange of state bonds. Last week, BNR financed four banks with RON 6.411 bln (EUR 1.465 bln), also for seven days, with the loans due to mature on Monday. Since October 17, BNR held a repo auction each week, with the largest sum being granted on December 12, when nine banks borrowed RON 7.63 bln (EUR 1.7 bln). Dealers maintain their hypotheses about the loans being taken by banks that either cannot attract money from the market, or use the cash to finance, in their turn, the Ministry of Finance.