Romania says its bank buffers should soften Russia/Ukraine spillovers

BUCHAREST Mon May 5, 2014 10:35am EDT

BUCHAREST May 5 (Reuters) - The Romanian banking system's comfortable solvency and liquidity buffers should help alleviate any problems arising from the exposure of Austrian and French banks to Russia and Ukraine, Central Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said on Monday.

In a presentation, Isarescu said none of the Russian-owned companies in Romania were deemed of "systemic importance," and that there were "negligible exposures of Romanian banks to Russian or Ukrainian entities".

Romania, which neighbours Ukraine to the north, sends only 4.7 percent of its exports to Russia or Ukraine, so even a 10 percent fall in the value of exports to these countries, assuming it was not offset elsewhere, would shave only 0.16 percentage points off Romania's GDP.

"Even a total shutdown in gas imports may be weathered without tangible disruptions, at least until November-December," Isarescu said. (Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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