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Concorde Capital Research: NBU reserves decrease 2.5% mom in September

October 8, 2012

The National Bank of Ukraine’s gross reserves declined 2.5% mom (by USD 746 mln) to USD 29.26 bln in September (down USD 2.53 bln or 8.0% YTD). Reserves in foreign currency declined USD 864 mln over the month, while gold reserves appreciated by USD 118 mln.

Alexander Paraschiy: The data shows that the shortage of foreign currencies on the FX market was sizable last month and hryvnya depreciation pressure was elevated. Given the fact that the government raised USD 0.6 bln in Eurobonds last month (which were technically added to the NBU reserves) and the strengthening of the euro, which added an estimated USD 300 mln to NBU reserves in September, we estimate the central bank spent more than USD 1.6 bln on interventions to maintain hryvnya stability last month. This is the largest amount spent since October of last year. The sharp shortage on the FX interbank market last month was well predicted – in addition to deteriorating external accounts, imbalances were also driven by FX purchases by the population and businesses. We keep our end-2012 NBU reserve projection of USD 23 bln as we expect the central bank will continued spending a lot to ensure no sizable hryvnya depreciation takes place this year. We also maintain our end-2012 exchange rate forecast of UAH 8.4/USD.