Croitoru (BNR): Exchange rate up to 6 lei per euro, in absence of IMF agreement

The exchange rate could have hit the level of 6 lei per euro, if Romania failed to conclude the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stated on Wednesday, in a debate on crisis related issues, Lucian Croitoru, Adviser to Romania’s National Bank (BNR) Governor.

“Many were surprised by the loan value. We took 20 billion euros to protect our national currency, and in its absence the exchange rate could have hit six lei per euro”, said Croitoru.
He explained that IMF conducted studies about massive concurrent capital inflows, as it had happened in many countries in the period 2002-2008, after the crisis in Uruguay, and BNR knew what was going to happen when these capital inflows cease.

“There are studies and it common knowledge what happens in the case of massive capital inflows – national currency appreciation, bubbles (big and artificial rise of asset prices – editor’s note), GDP growth above potential. We spent 10 billion euros to keep on the exchange rate above the level of 3.1 lei/euro.
We also knew what was going to happen when the massive capital injections cease – national currency depreciation, a steep economic downturn. Starting with 2004, the finance ministers received messages from BNR: “The crisis will come”, “The crisis has arrived”, said Croitoru.

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