BUSINESS

Greek banks' EFSF notes eligible for ECB purchasing

GEORGE GEORGIOPOULOS

TAGS: Banking, Economy, Euro

The European Central Bank has included European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) notes in its list of eligible securities for purchasing under its so-called quantitative easing program, an ECB spokesperson said on Friday.

"Up to 50 percent of the outstanding amount can be purchased as this is the limit applicable to securities issued by eligible international organizations," the spokesperson told Reuters.

With holdings of more than 30 billion euros of such notes after rounds of recapitalization, Greek banks stand to make gains on the securities.

Bank shares were rebounding 16.2 percent on Friday after losses in the previous sessions.

"The market jumped on this one-off positive piece of news after days of negativity," said Eurobank analyst Nick Koskoletos.

Banks had not been not allowed to sell the EFSF notes in the market but they repoed them with the ECB to obtain cheap funding.

Apart from capital gains, selling a portion of their EFSF notes to the ECB could reduce the amount Greek banks borrow from it.

[Reuters]

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