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Serb January Foreign-Exchange Reserves Drop 3.7% to $14 Billion

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s foreign-exchange reserves dropped 3.7 percent in January from the previous month as commercial banks withdrew cash from their mandatory-reserve accounts and the government repaid debt to creditors.

Reserves fell to 10.5 billion euros ($14 billion), the Belgrade-based Narodna Banka Srbije said in an e-mailed statement today. The main inflow of 100.9 million euros came from the sale of euro-denominated bonds at home. Outflows included 230.7 million euros withdrawn from commercial banks’ mandatory reserve accounts, while the government repaid 149.7 million euros in maturing euro-denominated bonds as well as 26.2 million euros to foreign creditors.

Net reserves, excluding the money commercial lenders keep with the central bank and funds from the International Monetary Fund, declined to 6.5 billion euros from 6.6 billion euros at the end of December, the central bank said.

Interbank foreign-currency trading dropped 8.8 percent on the month, to 1.2 billion euros, while the dinar gained a nominal 1.9 percent against the euro in the first month of 2013.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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