FRANKFURT, June 6 The size of the European Central Bank's dormant government bond purchase programme decreased to 162.5 billion euros ($221.63 billion) over last week, the ECB said on Friday.
The ECB terminated its Securities Markets Programme (SMP) in September 2012, replacing it with an as yet unused plan called Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT).
The ECB said 1.79 billion euros worth of bonds matured over the last week. Because the ECB has said it will keep the bonds it acquired under the SMP until maturity, it will be years before the programme ceases to exist.
The ECB will hold a quick tender on June 10 to try to absorb 162.5 billion euros - an amount equivalent to the dormant bond programme's size. The ECB said on Thursday it will suspend these so-called "sterilisation" operations after the June 10 tender - a move to release more liquidity into the financial system. ($1 = 0.7332 euros) (Reporting by Frankfurt newsroom; Editing by Louise Ireland)