CHRONICLE OF MONETARY POLICY OF 1998
JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

2 JANUARY

Decree of the President of Eesti Pank (Bank of Estonia)
On the Circulation of 1-kroon Coins

Due to the expiration of the deadline specified in the Decree of the President of Eesti Pank from 6 December 1996 (see Eesti Pank Bulletin No 1, 1997) the new decree extended the deadline of the current procedures of issuing 1-kroon coins (minted in 1992, 1993 and 1995) by the credit institutions until the end of February 1998.

6 JANUARY

Decision of the Board of Eesti Pank
On Relieving Heldur Meerits from the Post of Vice-President of Eesti Pank and His Duties as a Member of the Board

Under Article 9, Clause 2, Sections 3 and 4 of the Law of the Central Bank, and due to the termination of the employment contract between Eesti Pank and Heldur Meerits under Article 79, Clause 1 of the Employment Contracts Act on the initiative of the employer on 31 December 1997, the Board of Eesti Pank decided to relieve Heldur Meerits from the post of the Vice-President of Eesti Pank and from the duties of the Member of the Board.

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Decree of the President of Eesti Pank
On Changes in the Regulations of Establishing the Daily Exchange Rates of the Estonian Kroon

The decree changed the Decree of the President of Eesti Pank from 31 January 1997, On Establishing the Daily Exchange Rates of the Estonian Kroon, replacing the international abbreviation RUR of the Russian ruble with the abbreviation of RUB.

9 JANUARY

Decree of the President of Eesti Pank
On Issuing into Circulation 20-sent Coins

Proceeding from Article 2 of the Currency Law and the Decision of the Board of Eesti Pank from 9 September 1997 (see Eesti Pank Bulletin No 6, 1997) the decree authorized the issuance of new 20-sent coins minted in 1997 on 20 January 1998. The silver-gray coins made of the nickel and steel alloy weight 2 grams. The diameter of the coins is the same as that of the old 20-sent coins - 18.95 millimetres. The design of the coins is also the same. The coins issued in earlier years will continue in circulation alongside with the new coins.

23 JANUARY

Resolutions of the President of Eesti Pank
On Destroying Coins Unsuitable for Circulation

The decree enforced instructions on destroying Estonian coins declared unsuitable for circulation.

29 JANUARY

Decree of the President of Eesti Pank
On Closing the Foreign Currency Accounts of Estonian Commercial Banks Held with Eesti Pank

In view of the fact that Eesti Pank was no longer required to mediate the foreign currency settlements of Estonian commercial banks, and proceeding from the proposals of Estonian commercial banks, the foreign currency on the accounts of the commercial banks in Eesti Pank was converted into Estonian kroons according to Eesti Pank's official exchange rate of 29 January. Those foreign currencies for which Eesti Pank has established no daily exchange rate were converted into Estonian kroons according to the 29 January official exchange rate of the central bank of the respective country against the German mark. The money converted into Estonian kroons was transferred to the bank accounts specified by the commercial banks and the banks' foreign currency accounts in Eesti Pank were then closed.

At the same time, the Regulations of Eesti Pank from 24 July 1992, was invalidated.

3 FEBRUARY

Decisions of the Board of Eesti Pank
On the Strategic Development Plan of Eesti Pank

The Board of Eesti Pank decided to approve the Strategic Development Plan of the bank until the year 2000. The development plan outlines the mission of Eesti Pank, its principal goals and lines of action for the years 1998-2000.

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On the Law on Credit Institutions and the Law on Savings and Loan Co-operatives

The Board of Eesti Pank approved the draft laws prepared by Eesti Pank on the credit institutions and on the savings and loan co-operatives.

In drafting the laws, Eesti Pank made use of the proposals made by the government institutions and the Estonian Banking Association, as well as the advice of the experts of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The build-up of the draft law on credit institutions is based on the principles of the European Union second banking directive and differs considerably from the current Law on Credit Institutions. New chapters have been added on co-operative banking and management of credit institutions.

Both drafts are meant to be discussed by Riigikogu (the Parliament) in the near future.

5 FEBRUARY

The leaders of Eesti Pank and the Finnish central bank (Suomen Pankki) met for discussions in Tallinn. The meeting focussed on the economic development of Estonia and Finland, the development of the banking sector in particular and mutually beneficial co-operation concerning the problems of the European Economic and Monetary Union.

The meeting was chaired by the President of Eesti Pank Vahur Kraft and the President of Suomen Pankki Sirkka Hämäläinen.

12 FEBRUARY

Decree of the President of Eesti Pank
On the Reporting Procedures of the Credit Institutions of the Republic of Estonia for the Accounting Year 1997

In connection with the ending of the accounting year and proceeding from Article 52 of the Law on Credit Institutions, all credit institutions in Estonia will have to submit to the Eesti Pank Banking Statistics and Analysis Department their 1997 accounting annual report and the required appendices, the report on the movement of equity capital, the activities report and the auditor's decision in conformity with Article 22, Clause 2 of the Accounting Act, copies of the shareholders general meeting decisions on approving the annual report and the distribution of profits.

Under Article 52, Clause 7 of the Law on Credit Institutions, all credit institutions have to publish their 1997 annual balance sheet and profit report in the format specified in the appendices of the current decree by 1 May 1998, the latest in at least one newspaper published in the locality the credit institution is based in.

18 FEBRUARY

Decree of the President of Eesti Pank
On Issuing Commemorative Coins to Mark the 80th Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia

Proceeding from Article 2 of the Currency Law and the Decision of the Board of Eesti Pank from 8 July 1997, and based on this decree 10- and 100-kroon silver and 500-kroon gold commemorative coins dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia were issued on 23 February 1998. The coins with 1998 as the year of minting were designed by Margus Kadarik who won the competition for the best design. The design of the commemorative coins is based on the prints by the Estonian artist Kristjan Raud on the themes of the Estonian legendary hero Kalevipoeg.

The commemorative coins meant for collectors and as presents, not for circulation were on sale at the Museum of Eesti Pank from 24 to 27 February. The coins were also on sale at the commercial banks. According to the Regulations of the President of Eesti Pank from 5 February, the retail price of the coins is the following:
  10-kroon silver coin (925 assay, weight 16 grams, diameter 31 millimetres) - 150 kroons;
  100-kroons silver coin (925 assay, weight 27 grams, diameter 39.6 millimetres) - 400 kroons;
  500-kroon gold coin (900 assay, weight 8.64 grams, diameter 22 millimetres) - 3,000 kroons;
  a three-coin special set - 5,000 kroons.

23 FEBRUARY

Decrees of the President of Eesti Pank
On Issuing and Withdrawing from Circulation of 1-kroon Coins

Proceeding from Article 2 of the Currency Law and the Decision of the Board of Eesti Pank from 9 September 1997, the first Decree announced the release into circulation of new, 1998-minted 1-kroon coins made of a different alloy, new measurements (diameter 23.25 millimetres), weight (5 grams) and colour (yellow) on 2 March 1998. From the same date, the issuing of the old 1-kroon coins (minted in 1992, 1993 and 1995) was stopped, although the old coins are accepted as legal tender until 31 May 1998. The old 1-kroon coins can be exchanged in credit institutions from 2 March to 31 August, and from 1 September 1998, only at the central bank.

Proceeding from the Decision of the Board of Eesti Pank from 9 September 1997, and in order to fulfil the Decree of the President of Eesti Pank cited above, and under Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Currency Law and Article 11, Clause 1, Section 2 of the Law of the Central Bank, the second decree orders credit institutions to exchange 1-kroon coins minted in 1992, 1993 and 1995 from 2 March to 31 August 1998, and to stop issuing old 1-kroon coins to customers from 2 March. The credit institutions are to pack the coins withdrawn from circulation into bags of 1,000 coins. Eesti Pank will accept sealed bags with coins from the credit institutions from 3 March to 20 September 1998.

27 FEBRUARY

Decree of the President of Eesti Pank
On Extending the Test Period of the Credit Institutions Payment Statistics Reporting

The decree extended until 30 June 1998, the test period of payment statistics reporting by the credit institutions, announced by the Decree of the President of Eesti Pank from 4 November 1997 (see Eesti Pank Bulletin No 8, 1997).