Gross foreign exchange reserves of the National Bank of Serbia at the end of March 2023 amounted to 21.38 billion euros, which is the highest level of gross foreign exchange reserves at the end of the month since the data has been monitored in this way since 2000, the National Bank of Serbia announced.
Last month, gross foreign exchange reserves increased by 184.4 million euros, according to the NBS March balance sheet.
“At this level of foreign exchange reserves, coverage of the M1 money supply of 176 percent and 5.6 months of imports of goods and services is ensured, which is almost twice as much as the standard that determines an adequate level of coverage of imports of goods and services with foreign exchange reserves,” the announcement states.
Net foreign exchange reserves (gross foreign exchange reserves minus banks’ foreign currency assets based on mandatory reserves, obligations to the International Monetary Fund based on arrangements and other bases) also recorded the highest level at the end of the month since they were measured in this way and at the end of March amounted to 17,2933 million euros.
Compared to the end of February, they were 0.5 million euros higher.
“The increase in gross foreign exchange reserves in March is primarily the result of the interventions of the National Bank of Serbia on the domestic foreign exchange market through the net purchase of foreign currency (an inflow of EUR 375 million), as well as a slightly larger inflow based on the allocation of mandatory foreign exchange reserves of banks in the net amount of EUR 201.9 million, which is typical for the end of the quarter. Net inflows were also realized based on the management of foreign exchange reserves and other bases in the total amount of 99.6 million euros,” the central bank states.
Those inflows were, as indicated, more than enough to compensate for outflows from foreign currency reserves that were realized based on the premature purchase of foreign currency government securities in the amount of 352.1 million euros, net deleveraging of the state in the name of foreign currency loans in the amount of 177 million euros, as well as other payments for the needs of the state and other foundations (a total of 25.0 million euros).
Market effects (intercurrency changes, changes in the price of gold and securities) were positive in the net amount of 62.0 million euros, mainly as a result of the increase in the price of gold on the international market by about 8.5 percent.
The volume of realized foreign exchange trade on the domestic interbank foreign exchange market in March amounted to 732.2 million euros and was 196.8 million euros higher than in the previous month. In the first three months of this year, a total of 1,979.4 million euros was realized in interbank trade.
In March, as since the beginning of the year, the value of the dinar against the euro was almost unchanged.
The National Bank of Serbia net purchased 300 million euros on the domestic interbank foreign exchange market in March, while since the beginning of the year, as stated, it has net purchased 465 million euros in order to maintain the relative stability of the exchange rate of the dinar against the euro.