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Ukraine: Bank Intervention Holds Currency Steady

Kyiv, 25 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine's hryvnya currency yesterday held steady against the U.S. dollar as the central bank in Kyiv took steps to prevent panic selling by foreign investors.

But signs of instability were still evident. In offshore markets, the dollar was trading at nearly 2 hryvnya -- a level outside the National Bank's declared range of 1.7 to 1.9 hryvnya per dollar.

Deutsche Bank researcher Jurgen Conrad told RFE/RL that he does not expect a major depreciation of the hryvnya in the immediate future. He said the central bank has proven its commitment to a stable currency. He says traders should not put too much importance on the interbank exchange rate, where the central bank has been paying dollars to foreign banks for large amounts of hryvnya.

Conrad also said there is little evidence to support press reports about a large-scale exodus of foreign investors from the Ukrainian T- bill (Treasury-bill) market. But Conrad warned that the risk of a 10 percent depreciation of the hryvnya will be greater at the beginning of 1998.