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ECB Posts Higher Profit, Details SMP Holdings in Annual Accounts

The European Central Bank posted a net profit of 998 million euros ($1.32 billion) for 2012, up from 728 million euros in 2011.

The Frankfurt-based ECB earned a surplus of 2.164 billion euros last year, up from 1.894 billion euros, its annual accounts showed today. The Governing Council decided to transfer 1.166 billion euros to the risk-provision account, which now totals 7.529 billion euros, the ECB said.

Interest income from bonds purchased under the now-defunct Securities Markets Program amounted to 1.1 billion euros, the ECB said, adding that 555 million euros was earned from interest on Greek government bonds. That sum is only part of the interest earned on Greek bonds held by all euro-area central banks under the SMP. Governments agreed to return to Greece an amount equivalent to the interest earned on Greek bonds in the SMP as part of a second bailout package negotiated last year.

The ECB today published a breakdown of the SMP holdings for the first time. Of the 208.7 billion-euro book value of the bonds in the program, 99 billion euros are Italian and 43.7 billion euros are Spanish. Greek bonds amount to 30.8 billion euros. The SMP also contains 13.6 billion euros of Irish debt and 21.6 billion euros of Portuguese assets.

The average remaining maturity on the bonds in the SMP is 4.3 years, the ECB said.

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