ECB refrains from buying bonds for three weeks

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 3, 2012
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The European Central Bank (ECB) has not bought government bonds for three straight weeks, data showed on Monday.

The ECB said in a statement that it did not settle any government bonds last week, putting the Securities Market Program (SMP) on hold for three straight weeks.

The ECB initiated the SMP in May 2010 to intervene in the secondary bond markets as bond yields of some debt-ridden countries reached high levels.

The ECB has lent over 1 trillion euros (1.3 trillion U.S. dollars) to banks as three-year loans through two operations of Longer-term Refinancing Operations since December. The yields of some government bonds in the euro area have dropped significantly ever since.

ECB President Mario Draghi said the three-year loans were offered to avert a credit crunch. On the other hand, he also made it clear that it was up to the banks on how they will make use of the loans.

Reports say banks in Spain and Italy have used the ECB money to buy the government bonds.

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