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ECB Said to Consider Ways to Use Bond Holdings in Greek Rescue

The European Central Bank is considering using its bond holdings to bolster Greece’s next rescue program and support efforts to contain the sovereign debt crisis, three euro-region officials said.

Under one plan, the ECB could sell its Greek bonds to the European Financial Stability Facility at the price it paid for them rather than accept a loss along with private creditors, two of the people said. The EFSF is against that proposal because it may stretch its capacity, the officials said. Another plan is for euro-area central banks to give up profits or take losses on Greek bonds in their investment portfolios. Several options are under informal consideration and none have gained traction so far, two of the officials said. Spokespeople for the ECB and the EFSF declined to comment.