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Central Bank Sells USD 40 Million

National Bank of Georgia (NBG) sold USD 40 million at a foreign currency auction on September 27 to support national currency lari (GEL).

It was NBG’s second intervention in less than a week and the third one in a month, selling in those two previous occasions USD 20 million each time.

After the September 27 intervention, NBG’s official exchange rate was set at GEL 2.327 per U.S. dollar, slightly stronger than GEL 2.334 a day earlier; the rate is 2.3% stronger compared to year earlier and 2.8% stronger than in the beginning of this year. Exchange kiosks in Tbilisi were selling dollar for about GEL 2.35 as of Tuesday evening.

Since the start of this year the central bank sold total of USD 140 million and bought USD 278.35 million in twenty interventions.

Gross international reserves stood at USD 2.888 billion as of end-August, up from USD 2.856 billion a month earlier and up from USD 2.463 billion a year earlier.

The most of the NBG’s interventions on the purchasing side this year came in a period between mid-March and early June, when GEL was gaining against U.S. dollar.

GEL started depreciation in November 2014, weakening from about 1.75 per U.S. dollar to its all-time low of 2.4985 by late January, 2016.