THE NATIONAL Bank of Slovakia (NBS) expects to finish Sk5 billion in the red this year. According to NBS governor Marian Jusko, the dramatic downturn in the bank's performance stems from interest rate cuts on the global forex market as well as the strengthening of the Slovak crown against world currencies. Because the bank transfers funds to the state budget only from profits, the negative performance threatens this year's planned transfer of Sk4.7 billion.
Preliminary data for the first two months of 2002 put the bank at Sk800 million in the red. However, Jusko stressed, "the final economic result for the NBS this year will depend on interest rate developments on global financial markets and the Slovak crown exchange rate."
Jusko said he believed it would be possible to maintain a fiscal deficit of 3.5 per cent of GDP, despite doubts over some sources of budgetary revenue, including the NBS transfer.