17:05 07.03.2022

Ukraine's intl reserves decrease by 5.3%, to $27.5 bln in Feb 2022 – NBU

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As of March 1, 2022, Ukraine's international reserves, according to preliminary data, amounted to $27.538 billion (in equivalent), which is 5.3% less than at the beginning of 2022 ($29.287 billion), according to the data of the National Bank Ukraine (NBU), published on Monday.

"As of March 1, 2022, Ukraine's international reserves, according to preliminary data, amounted to $27.538 billion. By the end of February, they decreased by 5.3%, but exceeded the level of reserves with which Ukraine entered the coronavirus crisis in early March 2020 ($27 billion). The decrease in international reserves was primarily due to payments on the state's external obligations last month and the National Bank's interventions necessary to smooth out excessive fluctuations in the foreign exchange market," the NBU said.

The regulator saidthe dynamics of reserves in February was affected by public debt management operations: the total volume of payments for servicing and repaying state and state-guaranteed debt in foreign currency amounted to $1.4 billion in equivalent.

It is specified that $781.9 million was allocated to servicing and redemption of domestic government bonds denominated in foreign currency, $428.4 million - to redeem eurobonds.

At the same time, in February, foreign exchange receipts in favor of the government amounted to $65 million in equivalent, including $25 million from the placement of domestic government bonds.

In addition, the NBU and the government of Ukraine paid $199.1 million in February to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

As noted, the dynamics of reserves was also affected by the operations of the NBU on the interbank market. After the invasion of Russian occupiers into the territory of Ukraine, the regulator introduced restrictions on the foreign exchange market to protect the financial system. From February 24 to February 28, the central bank mainly bought foreign currency from banks. Prior to the attack, in order to smooth out excessive fluctuations and prevent devaluation and inflation expectations from worsening, the NBU sold and bought foreign currency. In general, in February, the regulator sold $1.3 billion in the foreign exchange market and bought $901.2 million. In general, according to the results of February, the volume of net sales of foreign currency by the National Bank in the interbank foreign exchange market amounted to $357.8 million.

In addition, the dynamics of the indicator was affected by the revaluation of financial instruments (changes in the market value and the exchange rate of hryvnia against foreign currencies): last month their value increased by $339.7 million in equivalent, according to NBU data.

As the regulator said, the volume of international reserves covers 3.8 months of future imports - this is enough to fulfill Ukraine's obligations, current operations of the government and the National Bank.

In addition, the NBU said the net international reserves of Ukraine in February decreased by $1.634 billion, to $17.539 billion.

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