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Swiss minister says franc level no problem, balance sheet at limit

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Swiss minister says franc level no problem, balance sheet at limit

Swiss minister says franc level no problem, balance sheet at limit
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer said the Swiss franc-euro exchange rate has normalised and is not a problem for Switzerland, during a trip to Austria on Friday.

The safe-haven Swiss franc weakened to the symbolic level of 1.20 versus the euro earlier this year before strengthening again in recent weeks to trade at around 1.155.

A strong currency makes life difficult for Switzerland's export-reliant economy.

"Currently the exchange rate of the franc to the euro is not a problem," Maurer, who does not typically comment on monetary policy which is the domain of the Swiss National Bank, said in comments to Austrian news agency APA.

"The Swiss franc has actually normalised in relation to the euro."

Maurer said he was concerned about the size of the Swiss National Bank's balance sheet, which has grown larger than 800 billion Swiss francs (613.16 billion pounds) due to the central bank's foreign currency purchases to weaken the currency.

"That is at the limit of tolerance," he told journalists during his visit to Vienna. "We would like to somewhat reduce this in future."

($1 = 0.9927 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Revill, editing by John Miller)

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