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BNR says interventions to defend currency were lower than reported

Romania’s National Bank (BNR), which operates a managed-float policy for the local currency (RON), spent under EUR 1 billion from its forex reserves to prop up the leu in November, a central bank official who asked not to be named told Bloomberg.

BNR’s forex reserves dropped by EUR 1.1 bln in November, official data show, with the outflows from BNR’s vaults nearing EUR 3 bln.

Net of the eurobond repayment, the outflows not explained by BNR were EUR 1.42 billion, supporting rumours about massive forex sales of the central bank in the last days of November, amid an abrupt overnight weakening of the Romanian currency on the foreign markets. Part of the EUR 1.42 bln outflows covered another payment Romania made for the Patriot missile systems bought from U.S. group Raytheon, central bank spokesman Dan Suciu told Bloomberg.

“There aren’t reasons for concern,” because of the leu’s decline, Romania’s prime minister Ludovic Orban told reporters during an event hosted by the central bank in Bucharest on Tuesday.