May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Poland’s government sold the equivalent of 11 billion euros ($14 billion) in transactions on the currency market last year, as the zloty tumbled the most in four years.
The Finance Ministry started “regularly” converting funds from the European Union directly on the market from the end of April and also sold currencies from its sale of foreign debt, it said in a statement on its website today. Poland exchanged the equivalent of 1.25 billion euros on the currency market in 2010.
The government last year decided to sell as much as 14 billion in EU fund inflows on the market, instead of carrying out the transactions with the central bank, to curb the zloty’s weakening. The zloty lost 11 percent against the euro in 2011 on concern the euro area debt crisis would hurt the Polish economy, the second-biggest weakening after the forint among EU currencies.
A stronger zloty curbs the local-currency value of the country’s foreign debt and the finance ministry successfully avoided public debt breaching 55 percent of gross domestic product, which would have triggered austerity cuts.
The zloty has strengthened 3.1 percent against the euro so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The ministry also entered into derivative transactions last year to manage debt payments, according to the Finance Ministry’s statement. It took interest-rate swaps, or derivative contracts used to guard against fluctuations in borrowing costs, with a nominal value of 24 billion zloty ($7 billion) and maturity of up to 12 months.
The transactions cut the cost of managing debt by 1.61 billion zloty last year after increasing the expense by 1.56 billion zloty in 2010, the ministry said.
The ministry also entered into foreign-exchange swaps in euros for a period of up to one month, it said. The trades, worth 400 million euros, allowed the ministry to obtain 1.59 billion zloty for debt payments, the statement said.
The deals were in line with European Union accounting rules, according to the statement.
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