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Romania briefing: Foreign exchange market

In line with the European treaty establishing the principle of free movement of capital (the Single European Act), the National Bank of Romania (the NBR) recently repealed the last of its provisions impeding this free movement. The enactment (NBR Regulation 4/2006) sets out the new status of the foreign exchange market.

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Wolf Theiss, Bucharest

The foreign exchange market was totally liberalized, according to the agreed progressive schedule, on September 1 2006. All NBR authorization requirements regarding foreign exchange capital operations are no longer necessary.

These authorizations were previously required for operations involving financial instruments usually traded on the currency market (except those representing foreign public debts), that is: (i) the acceptance of Romanian financial instruments on a foreign currency market; (ii) the acceptance of foreign financial instruments on a Romanian currency market; (iii) acquisitions by non-residents of Romanian financial instruments on the currency market; and (iv) acquisitions by residents of foreign financial instruments on the currency market. These operations were subject to authorization even if performed through accounts opened by residents abroad.

Additional measures

The NBR will also issue separate secondary regulations concerning: (i) the foreign exchange market between banks; (ii) the performance of foreign exchange operations; (iii) the physical import and export of cash; and (iv) the safeguard measures that may be taken pursuant to the liberalization of foreign exchange capital operations.

The safeguard measures have already been approved through NBR Regulation 5/2006.

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