EUR2 bln of foreign money pulled out of Romania in second quarter

Foreign banks have reduced their exposure in Romania by over €2 bln in second quarter this year, to €84.19bln, when expressed in euro. However, expressed in dollars, banks’ inflow in the country increased in Apr-Jun this year, according to data provided by the Bank for International Settlements.

In euro, foreign banks’ outflow has brought their exposure in the country to €84.19bln from €86.23bln in the second quarter to June 31.

In American currency, BIS data point to an increase by $4.24bln to $118.89bln in the period under review, however numbers are influenced by the 6.2% devaluation of the US dollar versus euro in the second quarter 2009.

European Banks had $113.95bln exposure in Romania – 95.75% of Romania’s total foreign money, according to BIS.

The parent banks of the nine largest foreign banks incorporated in Romania – Erste Bank, Raiffeisen International, Eurobank EFG, National Bank of Greece, UniCredit, Societe Generale, Alpha Bank, Volksbank and Piraeus Bank – met on May 19 and agreed to maintain their overall exposure to the country and on increasing the capital of their subsidiaries if needed.

However, the nine banking groups and IMF, EU and NBR have agreed to minimize their exposure to Romania, a possibility set out in the initial agreement in the event of limited investment opportunities.

At the latest meeting with the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and National Bank of Romania on September 24 at Brussels, the nine foreign banks sought the approval for reducing their exposure to Romania from the reference date of March 31, citing limited investment opportunities and inability to use the cash flow at an optimum rate.

“Commercial banks have pledged to continue supporting the country’s financial sector, but depending on the investment opportunities. However, the bilateral coordinated commitments provide clearly that the indicator can be modified depending on the market possibilities. Therefore, there is no disagreement between the local authorities and banks”, sources closed to the issue told NewsIn.

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