ECONOMY

Repos at 30.5 bln euros in October

Repurchase agreements (repos) held by Greek businesses and households amounted to 30.5 billion euros in October 2001, their annual rate of growth slowing to 38 percent from 56.2 percent in August, the central bank said. Greece ended the tax-free status of repos and slapped a 7.0 percent tax on earned interest from January 1 this year. A Bank of Greece breakdown of monetary aggregates in its December bulletin showed money parked in repos had dropped to 30.5 billion euros in October from 31.4 billion in August. The central bank’s data showed that Greek businesses and households had liquidity amounting to 93.5 billion euros placed in bank deposits in October, with the biggest portion – 75.1 billion – in euros. The remainder, the equivalent of 18.5 billion euros, was parked in other currencies and showed a 24 percent drop year-on-year. Together with repurchase agreements of 30.5 billion euros, deposits and repos held by Greek households and businesses in October were up 6.6 percent year-on-year and totaled 124.1 billion euros. The Bank of Greece, part of the euro system, has adopted the M3 monetary aggregate to assess liquidity conditions since Greece joined the eurozone in January last year. The M3 aggregate comprises currency in circulation, overnight deposits excluding those of the central government, savings deposits, repos, money market fund units, deposits redeemable at notice of up to three months and depos with a two-year maturity. The sum of EMU member M3 aggregates provides the eurozone’s total money supply. According to Bank of Greece provisional data for October, the 12-country eurozone’s M3 amounted to 5.274 trillion euros with the corresponding Greek component, 131.8 billion euros, making up 2.5 percent.(Reuters)