March 16, 2020 / 11:27 AM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Croatia central bank boosts liquidity to counter coronavirus crisis

(Adds weekly repo auction, details on coronavirus)

ZAGREB, March 16 (Reuters) - The Croatian central bank said on Monday it had accepted all bids from banks, totalling 3.8 billion kuna ($558.5 million), at its five-year structural repo auction aimed at securing smooth liquidity during the coronavirus crisis.

The auction was held at a fixed interest rate of 0.25%. The maturity date for the loans is March 18, 2025. A similar operation to boost liquidity was previously held at the end of 2018.

The central bank also said it had held a weekly repo auction and accepted all bids by banks, totalling 750 million kuna, at an interest rate of 0.3%. It was the first such auction to smooth out the short-term liquidity since the end of 2017.

The central bank is also holding an auction to sell euros to banks to counter depreciation pressures on the national kuna currency. The results are expected after 1200 GMT. The kuna was quoted at around 7.60 to the euro before the intervention.

Last week the central bank sold 1.214 billion euros ($1.36 billion) to banks to counter depreciation pressures on the kuna.

Croatia has so far reported 56 cases of the coronavirus, with three people having recovered and no deaths. The country has closed schools for two weeks from Monday.

$1 = 6.8038 kuna; $1 = 0.8944 euros Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Pravin Char

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