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Romania Central Bank Eases Regulations for Liquidity Operations

Romania’s central bank eased regulations for the way it provides liquidity to commercial banks, giving lenders a chance to tap more money in exchange for state treasuries.

Policy makers raised the number of different state debt issues a bank can use as collateral to get liquidity from the central bank to five from three, including for weekly repurchase operations, according to a document published on the regulator’s website. The new rules came into force yesterday.

Some of the 41 banks operating on the Romanian market, mostly owned by western European lenders, started relying more on the funding provided by the central bank as a worsening of the European sovereign-debt crisis trims funding from parents.

Banca Nationala a Romaniei lent the biggest amount of short-term liquidity in more than two years on May 28. Eight banks borrowed about 8 billion lei ($2.2 billion) at the weekly repurchase operation, regularly used until May 21 by only four banks, data published on Bloomberg show.

Austrian lenders control about 39 percent of the market, followed by Greek banks with 15.5 percent and French lenders with more than 10 percent, according to the central bank. Erste Group Bank AG’s Banca Comerciala Romana SA is the country’s largest lender by assets, followed by BRD-Groupe Societe Generale SA.

-- With assistance from Irina Savu in Bucharest. Editor: James M. Gomez

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