Ukraine's forex reserves 2% down in Jan - NBU

Ukraine's forex reserves reached $18.444 billion as of early February 2018, which is 2% less than a month earlier, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) posted the preliminary data on its official website on Tuesday.

The National Bank said that the reduction in reserves is linked to payments by the government for servicing and repaying the state and guaranteed debt in foreign currency in the amount of $565.6 million, including $468.5 million for servicing and repaying currency-pegged government domestic loan bonds.

The NBU also conducted currency interventions in January to smooth out excessive exchange rate fluctuations of the hryvnia exchange rate caused by temporary factors. Following the results of these interventions, the National Bank sold $266.8 million in the interbank foreign exchange market, of which $169 million during interventions in the form of a request for a better rate.

Extra supply of currency in the interbank market at the end of January allowed the central bank to somewhat expand the forex reserves.

In general, in January, the NBU bought $250.9 million in the interbank foreign exchange market, including $177 million through interventions in the form of a request for a better rate. Thus, the net sale of foreign currency amounted to $15.9 million.

In addition, the volume of reserves was affected by the revaluation of financial tools (change in market value, exchange rates) in the amount of $205.9 million and other operations valued at $9.9 million.

As of February 1, 2018, the volume of forex reserves covers 3.5 months of future imports and is sufficient to meet Ukraine's obligations and current operations of the government and the National Bank, the central bank said.