ECB approves ELA funding requested by Greece, source says

The European Central Bank approved the amount of emergency funding (ELA) Athens requested for its banks on Wednesday, a banking source with direct knowledge of the decision said, without disclosing what amount Greece had asked for.

“The Bank of Greece got approval for the ELA it requested. If necessary the ECB governing council will convene again in the next 24 hours,” the source said.

Greek banks depend on central bank funds to remain afloat after heavy deposit withdrawals that reached more than a billion euros a day at the end of last week.

As hopes of a deal between Greece and its international creditors rose on Tuesday, the ECB, which has been holding daily meetings on the funding measures for Greek banks, raised the limit on ELA by slightly less than a billion euros, sources close to the issue said.

Emergency liquidity assistance from the Greek central bank, which is more costly than borrowing from the European Central Bank, rose to 77.58 billion euros ($87.1 billion) last month from 74.37 billion in April, data showed on Tuesday. [Reuters]