BUSINESS

Eurozone banks increase government bond holdings in April, ECB reports

Eurozone banks mainly stocked up on sovereign debt in April, data from the European Central Bank showed on Wednesday.

Italian banks bought 9.4 billion euro in government debt in April after a 2.1 billion increase in March, marking the largest monthly rise since June last year.

At a market value of 430 billion euros, Italian banks' holdings of government bonds remain the largest in the eurozone.

Dutch banks bought 3.5 billion euros worth of government bonds in April, after buying 596 million's worth in March - the largest monthly rise since February 2012.

Bucking the trend, Irish banks decreased their government debt holdings by 3.4 billion euros, with the market value falling to 48.1 billion.

Greece also saw a decrease, with banks selling 256 million euros of sovereign debt. Adjusted for market value, Greek banks' sovereign debt holdings fell to 15 billion euros. [Reuters]

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