The National Bank of Moldova (NBM) was established in 1991 and is responsible for monetary policy and banking supervision. The first years following independence were a difficult time for Moldovan finances. Inflation hit 2,700 percent in 1993, but prudent fiscal policies brought the inflation level down to 11.2 percent in 1997. The Russian crisis led to intense pressure on the Moldovan currency, and after the devaluation of the Russian rouble, the NBM abandoned support of the leu
|Exchange rates: Moldova|
|lei (MDL) per US$1|
|Note: Lei is the plural form of leu.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
in order to conserve its foreign exchange reserves , and it was devaluated at 100 percent. Inflation rates that peaked at 40 percent during the Russian financial crisis were expected to drop to 10 percent in 2001.
Other elements of the financial sector are less developed but include the National Commodity Exchange, established in 1991; the Moldova Interbank Currency Exchange; the Moldovan Stock Exchange, established in 1995; 15 investment funds; and 8 trust companies. The National Commission on the Securities Market supervises the market participants. The Moldovan Stock Exchange (MSE) was established in June 1995 as an electronic, screen-based, order-driven system. Only 20 companies are listed, but the trade volume increased from US$2.5 million in 1996 to US$52.6 million in 1998. The unregulated over-the-counter market accounted for 48 percent of the transactions in 1999.