Ukraine's gross international reserves grew by 1.8% in December to $15.539bn (by 17%, or $2.2bn during the previous year), the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) said in a statement on January 5.
The November result was attributed to the placement of $550mn US dollar-denominated government domestic bonds and obtaining $55mn funding from the European Commission.
The current level of reserves is equal to around 3.6 months of imports cover, mainly thanks to tranches received earlier from a $17.5bn support package agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2015. In September, the multinational lender approved a further $1bn tranche after almost a year of delays in transfers of funds.
The NBU added in the statement that the volatility in the interbank FX market increased at the end of December, which led to the fact that only during the last week the regulator held three auctions to sell foreign currency, during which it satisfied applications for a total of $202.7mn. In December, the NBU bought $115mn at auctions and sold $234.4mn.
According to official data, Ukraine's state debt fell 1.2% month-on-month to $67.5bn in November. External debt declined 0.8%m while internal debt decreased 1.9%.