ZURICH Feb 13 Rising sight deposits suggest the
Swiss National Bank (SNB)intervened in currency markets last
week to temper the rising Swiss franc and keep the safe-haven
currency from further taking a bite out of the country's
Total sight deposits including cash domestic banks hold with
the SNB rose to 539 billion Swiss francs ($536.85 billion) from
535.194 billion francs the previous week, data showed on Monday.
The SNB had impetus to intervene last week as the franc
slipped to 1.0629 francs per euro, the strongest it has been
relative to the common currency since the market turbulence
surrounding Britain's vote in June to exit the bloc.
By Monday, the franc had weakened to 1.067 per euro.
The SNB declined to comment on its activities, but
economists said the numbers demonstrate that the central bank
likely stepped in to mitigate the franc's rise.
"The rising sight deposits signal that the SNB intervened in
currency markets," said Gero Jung, chief economist at Mirabaud
Asset Management, who reckons the franc will remain strong
despite the central bank's efforts to drive it lower.
According to the private bank's baseline scenario, the franc
will end the year at about 1.06 francs per euro, roughly the
Switzerland's central bankers including Chairman Thomas
Jordan have stuck steadfastly to currency intervention and a
policy of negative interest rates as they seek to keep a lid on
the value of the franc since scrapping a cap against the euro in
Jordan has repeatedly emphasized that the franc is
A vote over the weekend in which Swiss citizens rejected a
corporate tax overhaul sent shockwaves through Bern's political
circles and prompted concern from the EU, but monetary experts
said that result was unlikely to have dramatic bearing on the
value of the franc.
"The SNB will likely stick to its current policy and remain
active in currency markets," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a
note on Monday. "Even so, we expect that the intervention will
likely be less active than it was in the past year."
($1 = 1.0040 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Angelika Gruber; writing by John Miller; Editing
by Janet Lawrence)