Estonia's stabilization reserve shrinks by €3 million on quarter

Money. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The size of Estonia's Stabilization Reserve Fund, which is maintained to fund crisis situations, shrank by €3 million over the third quarter of 2022, standing at €423.3 million at the end of September.

Deposited into the stabilization reserve this year was a profit distribution of €900,000 from the Bank of Estonia's 2021 profits; €900,000 was likewise deposited in the reserve last year, comprising primarily of a profit distribution from the Bank of Estonia's 2020 profits, according to a Ministry of Finance report.

As of the end of the third quarter, reserve funds have been invested primarily in EU government bonds with very low credit risk, which account for 69.9 percent of infusions. Another 27.9 percent has been invested in credit institution bonds, and the account balance and 2.2 percent in corporate bonds.

Bonds made up 86.5 percent of investments and balance 13.5 percent. Major investors were the Bank of Estonia (13.5 percent), Bpifrance Financement SA (12.9 percent) and Austria (12.6 percent).

Belgian bonds accounted for 19.5 percent, Bpifrance Financement bonds 17.6 percent and French bonds 12.4 percent of investments last quarter. Bonds account for 99.7 percent and the account balance 0.3 percent of the reserve's investments.

Eurozone bond yields increased significantly in the third quarter, due primarily to the increase in base interest rates. While bond prices increased in July over fears of an economic recession, they fell again in August and September.

The profitability of reserve assets fell by 2.26 percent in the third quarter.

From €45 million in 25 years

First established in 1997, the Stabilization Reserve Fund can be used in crisis situations with the approval of the Riigikogu. It was established with an initial volume of 701.6 million Estonian kroons, or €44.8 million. The reserve has been used to cover the debts of the bankrupt Estonian Maapank as well as to mitigate risks generated by the 2009 economic crisis.

In April 2020, the Riigikogu greenlit the gradual and needs-based use of reserve funds for the mitigation of economic damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

The State Budget Act provides that the stabilization reserve is made up of a part of Bank of Estonia profits, the public cash flow surplus of the previous economic year following a Riigikogu decision, income from reserve management, state budget appropriations as well as other funds as provided for by law.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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