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Jul 18, 2013

ECB takes lending step to help small business

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank moved on Thursday to get more money to the euro zone’s struggling small businesses, letting banks use more of the assets once blamed for triggering the financial crisis as collateral for cheap loans.

The ECB said it was expanding the list of asset-backed securities (ABS) that are eligible for use at its refinancing operations – the facilities banks use to tap the central bank for liquid funds – and reducing the discounts it applies to these assets.

Jul 18, 2013

ECB tweaks collateral rules to increase ABS eligibility

FRANKFURT, July 18 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
said on Thursday it was revising its collateral rules, expanding
the list of eligible paper to increase the scope for banks to
offer up asset-backed securities (ABS) to tap ECB funds.

The changes, which will have a neutral impact overall on the
amount of collateral available, will increase the eligibility of
ABS – an asset-class the ECB wants to support to open new
funding sources for small- and mid-sized (SMEs) euro zone firms.

Jul 16, 2013

Troubled euro zone weighs on German investor morale

MANNHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – German analyst and investor sentiment unexpectedly worsened in July, reflecting economic tensions in the euro zone and a global slowdown that is hitting exports, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The Mannheim-based ZEW economic think tank’s monthly poll of economic sentiment fell to 36.3 from 38.5 in June, well below the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts for a rise to 39.6.

Jul 11, 2013

ECB hasn’t tied its hands with guidance, says Weidmann

MUNICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has not “tied itself to the mast” with its use of forward guidance on low interest rates, and could raise them if inflationary pressures emerge, ECB policymaker Jens Weidmann said on Thursday.

Abandoning its traditional policy of never pre-committing on future rates, the ECB said a week ago it would keep its interest rates at present or lower levels for an “extended period” – its first use of so-called forward guidance.

Jul 11, 2013

Analysis: Forward guidance more than passing fashion for central banks

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – “Watch what we do, not what we say,” was the central bank mantra for generations. But no more.

In the space of a few hours last week, the European Central Bank and Bank of England embarked on a momentous change, moving to provide an interest rate outlook as the Federal Reserve already does, a crisis response that could become a permanent feature.

Jul 11, 2013

Forward guidance more than passing fashion for central banks

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – “Watch what we do, not what we say,” was the central bank mantra for generations. But no more.

In the space of a few hours last week, the European Central Bank and Bank of England embarked on a momentous change, moving to provide an interest rate outlook as the Federal Reserve already does, a crisis response that could become a permanent feature.

Jul 4, 2013

ECB, abandoning tradition, commits to record low rates

FRANKFURT, July 4 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
broke with precedent by declaring it would keep interest rates
at record lows for an extended period and may yet cut further,
responding to turbulence caused by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s
exit plan from money-printing.

Less than two hours after the Bank of England gave a steer
about future interest rate moves, ECB President Mario Draghi
followed suit, abandoning the euro zone central bank’s customary
insistence that it never precommits on policy.

Jul 4, 2013

ECB holds rates as euro crisis threatens to return

FRANKFURT, July 4 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank left
interest rates unchanged on Thursday and will try to reassure
investors rattled by new turmoil in Europe and the U.S. Federal
Reserve’s plans to begin winding up its stimulus.

The ECB met against a backdrop of political crisis in
Portugal that pushed its benchmark bond yields above 8 percent
on Wednesday, a spike that stirred angst in financial markets
already jittery after the Fed last month set out a plan to exit
from its money-printing programme.

Jul 2, 2013

Debt crisis hits demand for euro as reserve currency

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Countries around the world cut back on their holdings of euros as a percentage of foreign exchange reserves last year as the sovereign debt crisis kept investors wary, the European Central Bank said on Tuesday.

International Monetary Fund data shows the decrease continued in the first quarter of this year, although the euro remains the world’s second-most important reserve currency after the dollar.

Jun 21, 2013

Analysis: Creeping mistrust stops euro zone banks lending to peers across bloc

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Euro zone banks are refusing to lend to peers in other countries in the common currency bloc, signaling a worrying fall in confidence that appears to have worsened since the Cyprus bailout earlier this year, data analyzed by Reuters showed.

In a trend that could reignite fears about the euro and its banks, European Central Bank data shows the share of interbank funding that crosses borders within the euro zone dropped by a third, to just 22.5 percent in April from 34.5 percent at the beginning of 2008.

    • About Sakari

      "I am part of the Reuters team covering the European Central Bank. Before moving to Frankfurt in early 2009, I was based in Helsinki, where I wrote about the Finnish economy and paper industry."
      Joined Reuters:
      2006
      Languages:
      Finnish, English, German, Swedish
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