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Greek Banks’ Reliance on ECB Liquidity Falls to $30 Billion

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Greek bank reliance on European Central Bank liquidity declined in July as the country’s government bonds became ineligible as collateral.

Greek bank use of ECB liquidity fell to 24 billion euros ($30 billion) from 73.7 billion euros in June, according to an Athens bourse filing from the Bank of Greece today.

The ECB suspended Greek banks from its funding operations as an agreement under which the European Financial Stability Facility provided bonds to guarantee Greek government bonds offered as collateral -- the so-called buyback plan -- expired on July 25, the Frankfurt-based ECB said July 20.

Banks that used such funds would have to tap European Liquidity Assistance, or ELA, it said. The buyback agreement came into effect in March when Greece pushed through the biggest sovereign-debt restructuring in history.

Reliance on ELA, which is extended by the Athens-based central bank, rose to 106.3 billion euros in July from 61.9 billion euros a month earlier, according to the Bank of Greece statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at nweeks2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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