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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Slovakia's gross foreign debt down to $9.7 billion in March

Slovakia's gross foreign debt was $9.65 billion at the end of March 1999, down from $9.89 billion in February and $12.05 billion in January, Pavol Kyjac of the National Bank of Slovakia's (NBS) Forex Liabilities Department reported on June 22.

The official debt of the Slovak government and the central bank was $2.35 billion, down $59 million from the previous month. The debt of the commercial sector (business entities and commercial banks) was $7.2 billion, of which the debt of business entities constituted 88%. The debt of municipalities totaled $52 million, while governmental agencies reported a debt of $43 million.

Within the structure of total gross foreign debt, total medium- and long-term foreign liabilities equaled $7.18 billion, against total short-term debt of $2.48 billion in late March. The share of total short-term debt on total gross foreign debt dropped 1.71% from February to 25.67%.

Total gross foreign debt per capita declined 2.34% from February to $1,792 in March.

Effective January 1, the NBS introduced a new methodology of reporting foreign debt, which includes Slovak crown-denominated debts towards non-residents (foreign banks), government bonds and T-Bills owned by non-residents in Slovakia's foreign debt. The short-term deposit operations of the NBS are also now declared as a part of short-term foreign debt. Thus, the level of Slovakia's foreign debt has been increased by these items.

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