IN SHORT

Central bank still cautious about crown

CENTRAL BANK officials have said that despite positive trade data for August they continue to watch the strengthening crown, and will intervene on the forex market if the currency "exceeds a certain level."

The crown has strengthened by more than 3 per cent against its euro reference currency since September elections returned a majority government of four right-wing parties and ended the threat of a return to power by former strongman Vladimír Mečiar.

The removal of Mečiar as a political threat has spurred the interest of investors, who are increasingly confident of Slovakia's chances to receive invitations to join Nato and the European Union, in November and late 2003 respectively.

Central bank governor Marian Jusko warned last week that the post-election surge in the Slovak crown against the euro and dollar had been "too fast and too sudden".

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