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ECB Says Banks to Repay More Than Forecast of 3-Year Loan

The European Central Bank said banks will next week repay more of its emergency three-year loans than economists forecast in another sign the euro region’s debt crisis is abating.

Some 278 financial institutions will return 137.2 billion euros ($184.4 billion) on Jan. 30, the first opportunity for early repayment of the initial three-year loan, the Frankfurt-based ECB said in a statement today. That compares with the median forecast of 84 billion euros in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. The ECB’s first loan totalled 489 billion euros and banks can continue to make early repayments in coming weeks.