Serbian Foreign-Exchange Reserves Rise 2.5% in December

Serbia’s foreign-exchange reserves expanded by almost 265 million euros ($351 million) in December as commercial lenders set aside more cash with the central bank to meet mandatory reserve requirements.

Reserves rose to 10.9 billion euros driven by a net 333.8 million-euro increase in mandatory reserves, the Belgrade-based Narodna Banka Srbije said in an e-mailed statement today. Inflows included 43.9 million euros from sovereign loans and grants and 33.6 million euros from government’s debt sales in December. The biggest cost last month was to repay 58.3 million euros in debt.

Net reserves, excluding the money commercial lenders keep with the central bank and funds from the International Monetary Fund, were little changed at 6.6 billion euros at the end of December, the central bank said.

Interbank foreign-currency trading dropped 23 percent on the month to 1.3 billion euros, bringing the 12-month volume in the market to 17.4 billion euros.