• Inside Labour

    The 'casualisation' of the workforce is often a ploy to cut costs, says Terry Bell.

  • When drones go dancing

    Drone technology's future is about to come to life in Cape Town, says Arthur Goldstuck.

  • Testing times for Matona

    New Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona has his work out cut out for him, says Mzwandile Jacks.

Data provided by iNet BFA
Loading...
See More

Ultra-cheap eurozone loans hit a snag

Feb 22 2013 18:30 AFP

Related Articles

ECB banks set to toughen lending rules

ECB warns of low interest rates

Eurozone inflation nears ECB goal

ECB banks set to toughen lending rules

Eurozone falls deeper into recession

Eurozone tensions fade

 

Frankfurt - Eurozone banks do not seem ready to repay as much as expected of the ultra-cheap three-year loans made available to them by the European Central Bank last year, official data showed on Friday.

The ECB announced that 356 eurozone banks have signalled their intention to repay early €61.1bn ($80.5bn) of a second batch of special long-term refinancing operations or LTROs, launched last year to avert a looming credit crunch in the single currency area.

That is much lower than the €130bn some analysts had been expecting.

The LTROs are injections of liquidity into the banking system with ultra-long maturities of three years.

They were launched in two batches - €468.19bn in December 2011 and €529.5bn in February 2012.

At the time, they were widely credited with pulling Europe back from the brink of a dangerous credit crunch.

Both rounds of LTRO included provisions to allow early repayment after one year, if banks so chose.

The first repayment window opened on January 30, when 278 banks repaid €137bn.

And the second window opens on February 27.

After that, repayments can continue on a weekly basis, depending on demand.

Total repayments so far amount to €212.3bn or 21% of the combined total of €1.02 trillion in LTROs.

ECB chief Mario Draghi has argued that the fact that eurozone banks are ready to repay early such a large chunk of their emergency loans "reflects the improvement in financial market confidence."

But analysts suggested the lower-than-expected repayments for the second batch is a signal that banks are still not ready to rely solely on the normal funding markets, especially with the Italian elections looming this weekend.

"The uncertainty ahead of the general political elections in Italy could have led some banks that had decided to exit to postpone their repayment," said Giuseppe Maraffino and Laurent Fransolet of Barclays Research.

"Should this have been the case, the repayment in the following weeks could be higher than at the previous three paybacks in the weeks following the January 30 payback, which averaged €4.1bn," the analysts said.

The ECB did not provide a national breakdown of banks that are repaying and few banks have made public their repayment plans.


Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

european union  |  eurozone  |  banks  |  loans
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

Expanding your business requires capital and banks have stringent lending criteria in place.
 

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...