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Summary of National Bank of Serbia operations in 2022

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This year, the dinar has strengthened against the euro by 0.2 percent, the gross foreign exchange reserves of the country are a record and exceed 18 billion euros, and the gold in the foreign exchange reserves has increased by 1.1 tons, to a record 38.5 tons, according to the statement. of the National Bank of Serbia (NBS), which summarizes the year that is coming to an end.

It is estimated that the proactive actions of the central bank mitigated the effects of the multidimensional global crisis in a year that will be remembered as a year of great challenges and intertwined crises.

The NBS points out that with the strengthening of the dinar against the euro by 0.2 percent, the National Bank is in the surplus by more than 700 million euros based on interventions on the foreign exchange market, because it bought foreign currency for so much more than it sold it.

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Also, that 2022 is the fifth year out of the last six in which the National Bank is a net buyer of foreign exchange, in the total amount of 4.9 billion euros, and that this year will also be a record year in terms of inflows of foreign direct investments, since it is estimated that their gross inflow is between 4.3 and 4.4 billion euros, which is about 10 percent more than last year.

It is stated that the share of non-performing loans in total loans has dropped to a historically low level of 3.0 percent, while in 2012, every fifth loan was problematic.

The NBS reminds that a regulation was passed limiting the price of a payment account with basic services to 150 dinars, which permanently protects the standard of citizens in terms of payment services that are needed for everyday life activities.

It is estimated that the total effects based on the reduction of fees, thanks to the package of NBS measures from August, will amount to more than seven billion dinars in a period of 12 months.

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They add that Serbia is on the verge of an investment rating, which increases the value of every single company in the country, despite major global upheavals.

When it comes to inflation, the announcement states that it is lower than in countries with a similar monetary policy regime, and that the inflation movement since the beginning of this year has been driven by factors on the supply side.

This primarily refers to the growth of world food and energy prices, which affected inflation in Serbia both directly and indirectly, i.e. by increasing inflation in the countries that are our largest foreign trade partners.

The NBS states that about 70 percent of the total inflation in Serbia is imported, that the central bank did not allow the depreciation of the dinar against the euro to increase the effect of imported inflation, as was the case in 2010 and 2012, when Serbia had inflation at similar level as now, while the price shock at the world level was many times smaller.

The total inflation in Serbia of 15.1 percent in November is lower than in countries with a similar monetary policy regime, the press release points out and adds that base inflation was maintained at a significantly lower level compared to total inflation, while in countries with similar with the monetary policy regime, base inflation double-digit.

The NBS indicates that even in the most challenging year during the past decade, the relative stability of the exchange rate of the dinar against the euro was preserved and that the dinar strengthened against the euro by 0.2 percent.

They estimate that influences from the international environment, ie geopolitical tensions and the rise in energy prices, were the main factor of strong depreciation pressures in the first four months of this year, encouraging in March the strong demand of citizens for foreign cash in exchange offices and banks.

The National Bank, the statement added, reacted in a timely and decisive manner during that period and from January to April sold a net of 2.27 billion euros on the foreign exchange market, provided banks with almost half a billion euros of foreign cash in exchange for foreign exchange, for the smooth supply of exchange offices and population.

The fact that, even in such a turbulent period, we preserved the stability of both the foreign exchange segment and other segments of the domestic financial market turned the situation around and, with greater confidence and the renewal of the effects of factors on the side of the supply of foreign exchange, pressures towards the strengthening of the dinar prevailed again from May, they state from the NBS and add that since May, the National Bank has bought a net of 2.98 billion euros on the foreign exchange market;

At the level of the year, the NBS is in the segment of interventions on the foreign exchange market in the plus by more than 700 million euros, and this year is the fifth of the last six years that the central bank is a net buyer of foreign exchange, in the total amount of 4.9 billion euros.

As for foreign exchange and gold reserves, they have reached new highs despite the unprecedented multiple crisis that has hit the world.

Thus, the gross foreign exchange reserves at the end of November amounted to 17.3 billion euros, which represents their highest level at the end of the month since the data have been monitored, and in December they exceeded 18 billion euros for the first time.

Thus, during this year, gross foreign exchange reserves increased by more than 10 percent, i.e. 1.8 billion euros.

In 2022, the increase of gold reserves continued, with the purchase of 1.1 tons of gold from domestic production, so that in terms of quantity, gold reserves reached a record 38.5 tons at the end of November, with a total value of 2.1 billion euros, Blic writes.

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