FRANKFURT May 12 The size of the European
Central Bank's dormant government bond purchase programme
remained at 167.5 billion euros ($230.42 billion) last week, the
ECB said on Monday.
The ECB terminated its Securities Markets Programme (SMP) in
September 2012, replacing it with an as yet unused plan called
Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT).
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 updated the contents of its SMP portfolio in
February, showing it had 86.8 billion euros' worth of Italian
bonds, 38.4 billion of Spanish, 25.4 billion of Greek, 19
billion of Portuguese and 9.2 billion euros of Irish government
debt at the end of 2013.
The ECB will seek to take an amount equivalent to the
current SMP holdings as weekly deposits from banks on Tuesday to
counterbalance the buys and neutralise any threat of them
($1 = 0.7269 Euros)
(Reporting by Frankfurt newsroom)