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Serbia’s foreign exchange reserves decline slightly in March: Central Bank report

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The National Bank of Serbia has reported that the total foreign exchange reserves at the end of March stood at nearly 25 billion euros (24.94 billion), showing a decrease of 89 million euros compared to the previous month’s end.

In net terms, excluding bank-held foreign exchange assets related to reserve requirements and obligations to the International Monetary Fund, the country’s foreign exchange reserves amounted to 20.7 billion euros, marking a decline of 127 million euros over the month.

During March, the state reduced its foreign exchange obligations by 221.7 million euros and settled an additional 115 million euros in foreign obligations, contributing to the decrease in foreign exchange reserves.

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The reduction in reserves was partly influenced by the National Bank’s sale of foreign exchange on the foreign exchange market, totaling 175 million euros. However, the NBS bought 195 million euros in the last two days of March. This transaction, though, will affect foreign exchange reserves in April due to settlement in the following two working days.

Additionally, the increase in banks’ reserve requirements by 53 million euros contributed to the gross reserves, while inflows from foreign exchange reserve management, donations, interest, coupon payments, and other sources amounted to 82.7 million euros.

The rise in gold prices by 8% and the strengthening of the dollar against the euro by 0.5% further boosted foreign exchange reserves by 287 million euros.

The National Bank of Serbia’s actions in the interbank foreign exchange market resulted in a net purchase of 20 million euros in March. Since the beginning of 2024, the NBS has net purchased 320 million euros to maintain relative stability in the dinar exchange rate against the euro.

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