ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Central bank says reserves fall not to affect policy

The Slovak central bank on February 26 said its foreign exchange reserves dipped in the week to February 24 but that the fall would not affect monetary policy.

"The decline in foreign currency reserves of the banking sector has no impact on the currency and does not affect monetary policy of the central bank," the bank said in a statement.

Central bank reserves egded down to $2,903.2 million in the week to February 24 from $2,936.2 million on Feb 17, while those of commercial banks fell to $2,688.3 million from $3,242.9 million.

Slovakia's total reserves, including commercial bank reserves, fell to $5,591.5 million from $6,179.1 million, a drop of $587.6 million.

"This movement was related to the decision by the National Bank of Slovakia banking council to abolish the (required) foreign currency position of banks for monetary purposes," the bank said without elaborating.

The central bank said that some commercial banks had artificially increased their assets along with their liabilities to meet the foreign currency position coefficients required earlier by the central bank.

"After the abolishment (of required foreign currency position for monetary purposes), reserves of banks will settle down at its natural level," the bank said.

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