European Central Bank

  • 2019-06-13 06:05


    By Luke Heighton

    BERN (MNI) - The Swiss National Bank (SNB) could lower its already negative interest rates still further should the economic situation demand it, Governor Thomas Jordan said Thursday.

    "We still have room to manoeuvre, we can go to an even more expansionary monetary policy," Jordan said. "We have sufficient room to change our monetary policy in order to react to certain shocks."

    Asked when the SNB might return to positive interest rates, Jordan said: "If you look at the global economy at this moment, the point of time when interest rates will go up is probably postponed and pushed further into the future.

  • 2019-05-29 04:54


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - Uncertainty surrounding global economic growth prospects has contributed to bouts of high volatility in financial markets, according to a European Central Bank report, while "weaker than expected growth and a possible escalation of trade tensions could trigger further falls in asset prices."

    May's Financial Stability Review (FSR) identified three areas of core concern for the eurozone:

    -- The materialisation of downside risks to economic growth could spark greater financial market volatility.

    -- Persistent downside risks to growth emphasising the need to strengthen the balance sheets of highly indebted firms and governments

    -- Subdued bank profitability prospects related to slow progress in addressing structural issues.

  • 2019-05-17 11:35


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The eurozone slowdown may prove temporary, the governor of the Bulgarian National Bank told MNI, but whether Europe emerges from the current soft patch by the second half of 2019 is uncertain.

    "The euro area's economy beat many economists' expectations in the first quarter.

  • 2019-05-09 04:07


    LONDON (MNI) - The Norges Bank kept its key policy rate unchanged at 1.00% following its meeting Thursday.

    The full text of the Norges Bank statement follows.

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    Policy rate unchanged at 1.0 percent

    Norges Bank's Executive Board has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 1.0 percent.

    In Monetary Policy Report 1/19, which was published on 21 March 2019, the Executive Board's assessment was that capacity utilisation in the Norwegian economy was slightly above a normal level. Underlying inflation was a little higher than the 2 percent inflation target. The policy rate was raised by 0.25 percentage point to 1.0 percent in March.

  • 2019-05-01 05:52


    by Jason Webb

    LONDON (MNI) - The European Central Bank has not discussed the effects of negative interest rates on bank profitability at the level of the Governing Council or board, ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said on Wednesday, adding that the main drag on banking profits came from structural factors such as excess capacity and cost inefficiency.

    Here are main points of a speech and question-and-answer session by De Guindos at an OMFIF event in London:

    --"We have not had any discussion in the board or the Governing Council about the side effects of negative interest rates," De Guindos said, in response to a question referring to comments by President Mario Draghi which prompted speculation the ECB could tier its deposit rate.

  • 2019-04-04 07:50


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The ECB's March package of monetary policy measures was necessary in light of the "sizeable moderation" in the pace of euro area growth, according to the official account of the Governing Council meeting.

    Here are the key points from the minutes:

    -- "A number of members expressed an initial preference for extending forward guidance through the end of the first quarter of 2020," to provide a "clear easing signal" and be more in line with market expectations of a first rate increase.

  • 2019-03-27 05:56


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The precise terms of new Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations "will depend on how the governing council assesses the banking lending outlook," the European Central Bank's chief economist Peter Praet said Wednesday.

    Praet acknowledged that several banks face a "cliff-edge" when existing loans come due, and said it was important to "avoid creating potential new cliffs in the future.

    "Monetary policy is working," he told an audience in Frankfurt, "but it has faced repeated headwinds."

    The ECB's Governing Council was faced with a "delicate call" at its March meeting, Praet said.

  • 2019-03-07 09:18


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - A fresh round of targeted long-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) was announced by the European Central Bank Thursday, while key interest rates will remain unchanged "at least through the end of 2019."

    TLTRO III will be launched in September this year and end in March 2021, each with a maturity of two years.

    Full details will be announced "in due course," the ECB said, but counterparties will be entitled to borrow up to 30% of the stock of eligible loans as at February 28 2019 at a rate indexed to the interest rate on the main refinancing rate over the life of each operation.

    In another significant move, the ECB also changed its forward guidance on the timing of key interest rate rises from "at least through the summer of 2019,

  • 2019-03-05 07:45


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The eurozone's current macroeconomic environment is "unquestionably less favourable than anticipated a few months ago," the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of France said Tuesday, with France expected to grow faster than Germany in 2019.

    Here are the key points from Denis Beau's speech in Strasbourg:

    --In line with the rest of the world, France's economic growth is slowing, albeit to a lesser extent than in some other European countries thanks to a rise in purchasing power and robust domestic demand.

  • 2019-02-27 06:00


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - German economic growth is expected to continue, Deutsche Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann will say Wednesday, with "no reason to be overly pessimistic about the outlook" despite the recent loss of momentum at home, in the euro area and across the world.

    Weidmann and Executive Board member Johannes Beermann will take part in a press conference at 11am CET in Frankfurt following the release of the Bank's Annual Report for 2018.

    Weidmann will say he believes that economic growth continues to be supported by favourable financing terms, rising employment levels and increasing wages, and will single out the ECB's decision to cease net asset purchases at the end of 2018 as the most significant monetary policy decision of last year, marking "