Für Elias - Copy&Paste (Sorry, wieder in Englisch)
06-02-2015 14:00 Data Suggest Swiss SNB Bought Around $65 Billion in Forex in January
ZURICH--New data published on Friday by the Swiss National Bank suggest it bought around 60 billion Swiss francs (around $65 billion) worth of foreign currencies last month to blunt the surge in the Swiss franc's value, even after the central bank removed a strict cap on the currency halfway through January, according to analysts.
The value of Switzerland's foreign currency holdings edged up to 498.4 billion Swiss francs in January, from 495.1 billion francs in the prior month, central bank data showed. The Swiss central bank decided to scrap its cap on the franc on Jan. 15, a move that sent the currency surging in value versus the euro and dollar. The euro fell around 14%, and the dollar by about 11% versus the Swiss currency in January.
SNB spokesman Walter Meier declined to comment on the rise in the value of the central bank's January foreign currency holdings. However, analysts said purchases during the period suggest the central bank has, and will continue buying up foreign currencies on the open market to manage the relative value of the franc even after removing the cap.
"The SNB will probably have to keep intervening in the currency market to curb the gains in the franc, which is still seen a haven for investors," said Esther Reichelt, a currency analyst at Commerzbank.
The SNB has acquired huge amounts of euros in recent years to curb the franc's gains versus the common currency, which is used in Switzerland's key export markets.
SNB governing board member Fritz Zurbruegg said in an interview with Swiss media last month that the amount of euros the central bank bought in the days before scrapping the cap on Jan. 15 had been considerable. If it hadn't removed the cap, the SNB would have had to spend an additional 100 billion francs in January to maintain the policy, he added.
"The SNB certainly intervened in January to weaken the franc, but not to the same extent it did during 2011, before imposing the cap, and in 2012," said Karsten Junius, chief economist at J. Safra Sarasin.
There has been widespread speculation that the Swiss central bank is now maintaining an unofficial corridor of 1.05 to 1.10 francs per euro. Mr. Meier, the SNB spokesman, declined to comment.