giovedì 18 settembre 2014

UniCredit among Italian banks borrowing billions from ECB

Eurozone banks take up 82.6bn euros in ECB TLTRO loans

(ANSA) - Rome, September 18 - UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo were among the Italian banks to take advantage Thursday of a new targeted lending program, borrowing billions of euros in inexpensive loans from the European Central Bank (ECB) on condition they pass the cash on via loans to business and consumers. A spokesman for UniCredit said the bank, which borrowed 7.75 billion euros, will likely participate again in December when the ECB is next scheduled to offer loans under its new targeted lending program called the TLTRO.

Intesa Sanpaolo borrowed four billion euros and the ECB has said banks will receive the money September 24. Overall, 255 commercial banks in the eurozone took up 82.6 billion euros from the ECB as part of the TLTRO program that aims to push cash into European economies through increased loans.

Thursday's four-year loans were offered at rates of just 0.15%, but analysts said that the number of banks participating was lower than expected and these took up less cash than anticipated. Some may be waiting until the December offer and also may want to see what other measures the ECB has in mind to kick-start the sluggish eurozone economy, analysts said. The eurozone's third-largest economy, Italy, has fallen into its third recession in six years with reports of deflation last month.

ECB President Mario Draghi announced the TLTRO plan in June, with the central bank planning to conduct eight such loan operations by June 2016. The TLTRO builds on an earlier long-term loan program offered by the ECB, which is also planning to purchase asset-backed securities and covered bonds to try to inject more liquidity into the eurozone economy to stimulate growth. 

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