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Polish NBP and BGK intervene to support the Polish currency

Polish NBP and BGK intervene to support the Polish currency

26.9.2011 9:29

Finally, the Polish zloty was supported by local authorities. The coordinated action of Polish state owned bank BGK and Polish central bank (NBP) pushed the EUR/PLN back below 4.38 EUR/PLN (around 3% stronger). The intervention worked as it was coordinated and came in rather low volume Friday session.

Nevertheless it is questionable whether the weakness of the Polish zloty is over. The week ahead is pretty busy given the vote in Greek (further austerity measures) and German (EFSF reform) Parliaments. One can imagine global risk aversion and selling pressure on emerging markets to stay in place.

Beside that, it is not very clear whether the NBP or the Ministry of Finance have any clear strategy how to defend the currency. It was more or less clear that Polish authorities were comfortable with the range 3.8-4.25 EUR/PLN, where the pair stayed for nearly two years. That is why many investors, including us, were surprised not to see the interventions a bit earlier this time as the pair even touched a 27 months high at 4.54 EUR/PLN. It was especially surprising given the fact that about a quarter of Polish debt is denominated in foreign currency and weaker zloty can pose risk to keep the debt to GDP ratio below legislative threshold of 55%.

That kind of intervention uncertainty could play against the zloty in the very short term. It does not really help that BGK declined to comment on the interventions and Mr. Belka (head of the NBP) admitted that the interventions are going to be random. If the authorities tend to wait for low volume market conditions to intervene (as was the case on Friday), the zloty can easily stay under pressure in the very short term.

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