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Reykjavik Interbank Offered Rate (REIBOR): Calculation and Importance

Last updated 06/05/2024 by

Daniel Dikio

Edited by

Fact checked by

In the intricate web of global financial markets, interest rates serve as crucial pillars dictating the cost of borrowing and lending. Among these rates lies the Reykjavik Interbank Offered Rate (REIBOR), a key benchmark in Iceland’s financial landscape.

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What is REIBOR?

REIBOR stands for the Reykjavik Interbank Offered Rate. It represents the average interest rate at which banks in Reykjavik, Iceland, are willing to lend to each other. Similar to other interbank offered rates, REIBOR serves as a benchmark for various financial transactions, including loans, mortgages, and derivatives.

How is REIBOR calculated?

The calculation of REIBOR involves several factors, including market conditions, central bank policies, and economic indicators. Banks submit their borrowing rates to a designated authority, which then calculates the average rate based on these submissions. The resulting rate reflects prevailing market conditions and serves as a reference for determining lending rates across the financial system.

Why is REIBOR important?

REIBOR plays a critical role in the functioning of financial markets in Iceland. It serves as a barometer of liquidity and credit conditions, influencing borrowing and lending rates across the economy. Moreover, REIBOR impacts the pricing of various financial products, including mortgages, corporate loans, and government bonds. As such, changes in REIBOR can have far-reaching implications for both individuals and businesses.

Factors affecting REIBOR

Market conditions

The dynamics of supply and demand in the interbank market play a significant role in determining REIBOR. During periods of tight liquidity, banks may be more reluctant to lend to each other, leading to higher borrowing rates and vice versa. Factors such as changes in investor sentiment, market volatility, and geopolitical events can also influence REIBOR.

Central bank policies

The monetary policies of the Central Bank of Iceland exert a direct impact on REIBOR. Through mechanisms such as open market operations and changes in the policy rate, central banks can influence the overall level of interest rates in the economy, including interbank rates. For example, a tightening of monetary policy may lead to higher REIBOR rates as banks face higher borrowing costs.

Economic indicators

Key economic indicators, such as GDP growth, inflation, and employment data, can also affect REIBOR. Strong economic performance may lead to higher borrowing rates as demand for credit rises, while weak economic conditions may result in lower borrowing rates. Moreover, changes in global economic trends and market expectations can influence REIBOR through their impact on investor sentiment and risk perceptions.


What is the difference between REIBOR and LIBOR?

While both REIBOR and LIBOR are interbank offered rates, they serve different geographic regions. REIBOR is specific to Reykjavik, Iceland, while LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) is based in London, United Kingdom. Additionally, LIBOR encompasses multiple currencies, while REIBOR is denominated in Icelandic krona (ISK).

How often is REIBOR updated?

REIBOR is typically updated on a daily basis, reflecting the most recent borrowing rates in the interbank market. However, the frequency of updates may vary depending on market conditions and the policies of the designated authority responsible for calculating REIBOR.

How does REIBOR affect mortgage rates?

REIBOR serves as a reference rate for mortgage loans in Iceland. Changes in REIBOR can influence the interest rates charged on mortgages, affecting the cost of borrowing for homeowners. For example, an increase in REIBOR may lead to higher mortgage rates, while a decrease may result in lower mortgage rates.

Is REIBOR regulated by any governing body?

While REIBOR is not directly regulated by a specific governing body, its calculation and administration are typically overseen by a designated authority, such as the Central Bank of Iceland or a financial industry association. These entities establish the methodology for calculating REIBOR and ensure its integrity and accuracy.

Key takeaways

  • REIBOR is a vital benchmark in Iceland’s financial markets, reflecting the average borrowing rates among banks in Reykjavik.
  • Changes in REIBOR can impact borrowing and lending rates across the economy, influencing the cost of various financial products.
  • Market conditions, central bank policies, and economic indicators are key factors driving fluctuations in REIBOR.

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