SNB Sight Deposits Rise Reflecting Late June Interventions

Sight deposits at the Swiss National Bank rose 0.5 percent last week, potentially the result of the interventions it admitted to in a bid to “stabilize” the franc.

The SNB data published on Monday showed that sight deposits increased to 460 billion francs ($490.5 billion) in the week ending July 10 from 457.9 billion francs a week earlier. Sight deposits of domestic banks rose 1.3 percent to 396.1 billion.

The franc, typically sought by investors at times of market stress, has appreciated some 15 percent against the euro since the central bank abandoned its franc cap of 1.20 per euro in January. SNB President Thomas Jordan said late last month that the central bank had waded into markets after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a referendum.

‘We know they intervened, probably in somewhat homeopathic doses,’’ said Cornelia Luchsinger, economist at Zuercher Kantonalbank in Zurich. The increase in sight deposit data for the week ending July 10 was probably due to the late June interventions, she said.

Sight deposits are the cash commercial banks hold with the central bank and serve as a proxy measure for interventions. In the past, when the SNB defended its currency ceiling, the deposits were credited with the amount of francs sold.

The transactions take two days to settle, and the figures published are a weekly average, which could mean the full extent of the SNB’s late June interventions are only showing up now in the data.

SNB Spokeswoman Silvia Oppliger declined to comment on the increase.

On Monday, the euro erased a decline against the dollar after Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel said there had been an “agreement” in Greece’s debt talks.

The franc was down 0.1 percent at 1.04905 per euro at 9:15 a.m. in Zurich, while against the dollar it stood at 94.02 centimes.