Romania’s 3M money market rate hits fresh 3.5-year high of 2.79 pct

Sorin Melenciuc 24/05/2018 | 11:47

Romania’s money market rate (ROBOR), the main indicator that sets the interest rates for RON currency borrowers, reached on Thursday a new 3.5-year record of 2.79 percent, following central bank’s new move to reduce excess liquidity, National Bank of Romania (BNR) data show.

The ROBOR 3M calculated for May 24, 2018, is the highest since October 14, 2014. The 3M rate rose by 0.02 percentage point from the previous market session.

Compared with the end of 2017, the 3-month index rose by 0.74 percentage points, from 2.05 percent.

On May 7, Romania’s central bank raised the monetary interest rate from 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, the highest level since February 2015, in line with economists’ expectations, who see the decision as a consequence of upward revision of the inflation forecast.

Analysts say the 3-month money market rate should be above the central bank’s policy rate.

The Romanian central bank had six open market operations during the last six weeks aiming to reduce money market’s excess liquidity, absorbing more than RON 18 billion in the first two operations, RON 7.9 billion on April 30, RON 3 billion on May 7, RON 10.9 billion on May 14 and RON 6.2 billion on Monday from the banks through one-week deposit tenders.

Experts estimate the 3-month money market rate will continue to grow until the end of this year, approaching 3 percent, if BNR rises the monetary policy interest rate to 2.75 percent in 2018.

The 3-month ROBOR index reached a record low of 0.68 percent in September 2016.

The 6-month ROBOR index stood at 2.89 percent on Thursday, a new 3.5-year high.

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