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Mar 12, 2013

Euro zone crisis not over, says ECB’s Weidmann

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The euro zone crisis is not over, France is slipping on reforms and the Bundesbank has set aside billions in new provisions for what it sees as risky European Central Bank moves, Germany’s central bank said on Tuesday.

Presenting Bundesbank 2012 results that showed a sharp increase in its risk provisions, the German central bank’s chief, Jens Weidmann, urged governments to tackle the roots of their troubles with reforms.

Mar 12, 2013

Bundesbank profit dented by increase to risk buffers

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) – The Bundesbank’s 2012 profit
remained broadly unchanged at 664 million euros, less than half
of what the German government was expecting, as the central bank
put more money aside to protect it from the euro zone debt
crisis.

The Bundesbank is concerned about risks the European Central
Bank has taken on to help banks through the crisis, for example
by accepting lower-rated assets in return for cash, exposing it
to larger losses if a bank fails to repay.

Mar 7, 2013

ECB offers no helping hand for Italy, holds course

FRANKFURT, March 7 (Reuters) – Markets have settled after
Italy’s fractured election result and any threat of contagion to
other euro members has been muted, European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi said on Thursday, suggesting the bank is
in no mood to act.

The 17-country bloc’s central bank discussed cutting
interest rates, but decided to keep them on hold, citing
positive economic survey indicators, which in turn suggest the
ECB is ready to keep rates at 0.75 percent barring the economy
taking another turn for the worse.

Mar 7, 2013

ECB offers no helping hand for Italy, says markets calm

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Markets have settled quickly after Italy’s fractured election result and any threat of contagion has been muted, the European Central Bank’s chief said on Thursday, suggesting it is in no rush to take any action.

Italians delivered a strong rejection of austerity measures at elections last week and left no party grouping with enough support to form a durable government, raising the prospect of backsliding on economic reforms and debt-cutting measures.

Feb 22, 2013

Banks repay less ECB crisis loans than expected

FRANKFURT, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Banks will repay the European
Central Bank 61.1 billion euros in the second of two 3-year
loans they took a year ago, handing back less than expected in a
sign much of the euro zone financial system is still reliant on
ECB funds.

The ECB said on Friday that 356 banks had decided to repay
funds from the second loan at the earliest opportunity, on Feb.
27. A total of 800 banks tapped the operation in February 2012.

Feb 22, 2013

Bundesbank looks ahead to ECB “exit” as LTROs repaid

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A bumper return of 3-year loans to the ECB would boost the case for it exiting crisis mode, a top Bundesbank official said ahead of Friday’s news on how much banks will hand back at a repayment window next week.

Joachim Nagel, in charge of market operations at the German central bank, stressed, however, that it was still unclear when the exact time for an exit would be as the European Central Bank’s monetary policy has not yet worked evenly across the 17 euro zone countries.

Feb 20, 2013

France’s euro partners fear deficit delay will hurt credibility

BRATISLAVA, Feb 20 (Reuters) – France’s European partners
raised alarm on Wednesday about the possibility of giving Paris
more time to meet the European Union’s public deficit target.

Officials from Slovakia, Austria, and Finland said such a
step could harm credibility at home and with international
investors.

Feb 8, 2013

Cracks appear in European banking union scheme

BRUSSELS/ FRANKFURT (Reuters) – It was billed as a reform that would tighten policing of Europe’s banks and end their ability to suck states into crisis. Now fears are growing that a central element of banking union will be scaled back, undermining the whole scheme.

When it takes the role of watchdog for euro zone banks in March next year, the European Central Bank will be confronted with a financial system that is still limping. In some countries, such as Cyprus and Spain, it is in critical condition.

Feb 7, 2013

ECB says will monitor impact of euro strength

FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will
monitor the economic impact of a strengthening euro, ECB
President Mario Draghi said on Thursday, feeding expectations
the climbing currency could open the door to an interest rate
cut.

After the ECB left its main interest rate at 0.75 percent on
Thursday, Draghi said the exchange rate was near to its
long-term average but went further than many analysts had
expected.

Feb 7, 2013

ECB’s Draghi defends his oversight of Monte Paschi

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi denied suggestions on Thursday that he had been lax in his oversight of the scandal-hit Monte dei Paschi (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) when he was governor of the Bank of Italy.

Italy’s third largest bank, which is dependent on state loans, has been at the centre of a financial and political storm over derivatives and structured finance trades in 2006-2009 that have left it facing losses of 730 million euros.