The National Bank of Georgia said it sold USD 40 million at a foreign currency auction as Georgian currency lari (GEL) fell slightly over 1% against U.S. dollar on Thursday.
It was central bank’s fourth intervention this year after selling USD 120 million on three separate occasions in February. Central bank’s reserves stood at USD 2.469 billion as of end-February.
At the peak of its recent depreciation on February 26, when GEL was trading at 2.2635 per dollar, the Georgian currency had 29% of its value lost since early November. Lari strengthened to 2.1 per dollar by March 5, but again started to fall since then, weakening to 2.223 per dollar by March 19, compared to 2.2 a day earlier and 1.75 in early November before the start of its depreciation.
Georgia’s exports declined 26% year-on-year in January-February to USD 324 million; import was down by 2% y/y to USD 1.1 billion. Remittances decreased by 22.4% in January-February to USD 157.4 million.