Experts say the central bank will most likely keep the benchmark lending rate at 10.25% and will cut leu-currency liabilities reserve ratio in the January 6 session, measures that would not defrost the market in case of long-term interbank deals.

“In January, we think the national bank will keep the benchmark lending rate and will cut the required reserve ratio, which is helpful only in case of short term interests. We need a firm monetary policy with accurate messages designed to restore confidence of the players”, said Nicolae Alexandru Chidesciuc, senior economist of ING Bank Romania.

Senior economist of Raiffeisen Bank Romania, Ionut Dumitru expects BNR to keep the lending rate at 10.25% per year, whereas it would probably reduce the required reserve ratio for leu-currency liabilities to 16% from 18%.

“If they don’t make this decision now, they will in the next session, either way, the measure will be applicable as of February. The cut in required reserve ratio will not solve the long-term inter-bank deal issue,” he said.

“BNR will have to find a solution in case of foreign currency required reserve ratio cut, in the context of shrunk external financing via parent-banks”, Dumitru mentioned.

The decline in external financing started to be noticed in the late months of 2008, as a part of the backlog debts to parent-banks have not been renewed.

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