Foreign exchange operations

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The Eurosystem conducts foreign exchange operations in accordance with Articles 127 and 219 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Within the Eurosystem, the Bank of Italy may be called upon to intervene on the market together with the other national central banks (NCBs) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

The Bank of Italy may also be asked to intervene in connection with the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), which sets out the main lines of cooperation in exchange rate policies between the ECB and the NCBs in EU member states that have not adopted the euro.

Foreign exchange operations may also be used to alter the composition of the Bank's foreign currency reserves in order to achieve the best balance between risk and return.

Lastly, the Bank of Italy may be required to buy and sell foreign currency with market counterparties in connection with the servicing of the country's foreign currency debt, in order to balance inflows and outflows without changing the amount or composition of foreign currency reserves.

The Bank analyses the performance of the main currencies daily, using information provided by the main news agencies and market operators.

The Bank of Italy also makes available, in compliance with Italian law, the average monthly and yearly exchange rates valid for fiscal purposes, which it then notifies to the Ministry for the Economy and Finance for publication in the Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana (Official Journal). The relevant acts are the Consolidated Law on Income Tax DPR 917/86(Article 110) and Decree Law 167/90 (Article 4).

Database of foreign exchange rates (daily publication and historical series)

The Bank of Italy's database of exchange rates (which includes that of the former Ufficio Italiano dei Cambi updated to 31 December 2007) reconstructs the exchange rate quotations of the US dollar, French franc, Swiss franc and pound sterling against the Italian lira from 1 February 1918. The quotations of the other countries' currencies against the lira are available from later dates as they progressively gained importance among Italy's trading partners.

The cross-rates of the single currencies are available from August 1955, according to their availability in the database of exchange rates.

Starting in December 1963 quotations against the Italian lira were recorded for a further seventeen currencies. Several other currencies have been added in the course of years: the start date for each is shown in the currency list on the website.

Irrevocable Euro conversion rates of the currencies participating in the European Monetary Union

The irrevocable conversion rates in euro for each participating currency are adopted by the EU Council. They are used for conversion between the euro and the national currency units and among the national currency units.

On 31 December 1998, and effective from 1 January 1999, the irrevocable conversion rates for the first eleven participating currencies were adopted.

The irrevocable conversion rate for the Greek drachma was adopted on 1 January 2001, the one for the Slovenian tolar on 1 January 2007 and the ones for the Cyprus pound and the Maltese lira on 1 January 2008. The irrevocable conversion rate for the Slovak koruna was adopted on 1 January 2009 and the one for the Estonian kroon on 1 January 2011. On 1 January 2014 the irrevocable conversion rate for the Latvian lat was adopted.

On 23 July 2014 the EU Council formally approved the accession of Lithuania to the euro area on 1 January 2015 and determined the euro conversion rate of the Lithuanian litas at 3.45280 to 1 (coinciding with the level of the current central rate of the litas in the exchange rate mechanism ERM II).

Automatic extractions

Cross rate calculator

The exchange rate quotations shown in the site are merely indicative. They come from either institutional or reliable market-reflecting sources. Bank of Italy is not liable for any inaccuracy or error caused by mistake.


Related Topics

The Eurosystem

The Eurosystem is the system of central banks of the euro area responsible for conducting the single monetary policy. It comprises the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks (NCBs) of the EU member states that have adopted the euro.