The official reserve assets of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) rose by 1.0% m/m to EUR25bn at end-March, the central bank reported. The foreign reserve assets accounted for 42.1% of the projected GDP, up by 0.5pps m/m. The reserve coverage of imports remained at 10.0x months and the reserve coverage of short-term external debt also remained unchanged m/m at 3.1x.
We think the m/m increase in international reserves was driven up by the 3.0% m/m increase in BNB’s liabilities to banks in March, according to the BNB balance sheet data. The amount of banknotes in circulation also edged up by 0.5% m/m.
Pre-determined reserve drains for the next twelve months were estimated at EU 555.4m and the estimated contingent liabilities were EUR86.4m for the same period.