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Economic Briefs

Central bank accepts repo sterilisation bids
January payment balance deficit at 600 million crowns
Money supply grows 4.9 billion crowns in March

Central bank accepts repo sterilisation bids

In its regular two-week sterilisation repo tender session on April 25, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) accepted 8.621 billion crowns from bank bids totalling 14.571 billion crowns. The accepted ceiling yield did not exceed the previous week's maximum of 9.1% p.a., reaching only 9.09% p.a.
The minimum yield stood at 8.98% p.a. and the average was 9.02% p.a. Dealers said the repo results should have a stabilisation effect on the further development of deposit prices on the Slovak money market.
Prices of crown deposits have not changed as a consequence of the repo results. The shortest deposits remained at 8.6/9% p.a., one-week funds at 8.7/9% p.a. and two-week money was quoted at 8.7/9.1% p.a.

January payment balance deficit at 600 million crowns

The National Bank of Slovakia said on April 20 that there was a balance of payments deficit of 600 million crowns in January. This figure can be attributed to a deficit in the trade balance amounting to 2.2 billion crowns, the bank said. The capital and financial account of the balance of payments also ended with a deficit of 300 million crowns according to preliminary results.
Central bank figures for total FOREX reserves in March showed an increase of 239 million crowns from February. The NBS foreign exchange reserves in late March represented 3.4-times the average monthly volume of Slovakia's imports for the first two months of 2000.
The accepted safe level of foreign exchange reserves for currency security is three times the average monthly volume of the country's imports.
The current account of the balance of payments ended with a deficit of 44.8 billion crowns in 1999. The drop in the current account deficit can largely be attributed to a substantial decrease in trade-balance liabilities. The capital and financial account of the balance payments in the year 1999 showed a surplus of 76 billion crowns.

Money supply grows 4.9 billion crowns in March

The fixed exchange-rate (as of January 1993) M2 money supply in March grew by 4.9 billion crowns from February to 522.2 billion crowns with a year-on-year growth of 12.7%.
The cumulative volume of loans in late March reached 411.1 billion crowns, down 1.3 billion crowns on the previous month. Crown loans dipped one billion crowns, while FOREX loans dropped 0.3 billion crowns.

Compiled by
Ed Holt from SITA

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