The central government’s deposits at the Central Bank of Cyprus fell to €427.3m at the end of December, from €870.3m in November, the bank supervisor said.
Still, the central bank’s balance sheet size rose last month to €16.5bn, from €15.3bn in November, mainly on an increase of intra-euro claims by €1bn, to €9.2bn, the central bank said. Total liabilities to banks in the euro area related to monetary policy operations rose to €11.9bn in December, from €10.3bn the month before.
The Cyprus Business Mail understands that the drop in the government’s deposits last month is primarily related to the payment of the 13th salaries to government workers and the deferment of an auction of €100m in 13-week treasury bills, which matured at the end of December, to January. Additional expenses linked with the presidential elections are also responsible for the reduction in the government’s deposits.
The Cyprus Business Mail also understands that the government’s funds recovered in January as a result of an increase in tax revenue.
According to the Public Debt Management Office, the government is facing a total of €903m in debt maturities this year, which include two instalments of €312.5m each against a loan from Russia.
In a separate statement, the central bank said the general government’s deposits at the end of December at private banks stood at €1.1bn compared to €1bn the month before. The general government includes the central government and other bodies such as municipalities.
In November, the government paid €614.9m to the central bank to repay part of a loan which subsequently dropped to €510.9m.
The value of the central bank’s gold reserves remained unchanged last month at €483.6m compared to November, it said.