FRANKFURT, March 21 The European Central Bank
said on Thursday it had decided to allow the central bank of
Cyprus to keep providing banks with emergency funding until next
With Cyprus sovereign bonds ineligible for use as collateral
for ECB refinancing operations due to their low credit ratings,
the Cypriot central bank is providing banks with Emergency
Liquidity Assistance (ELA).
The ECB's Governing Council must approve provision of ELA.
"The Governing Council of the European Central Bank decided
to maintain the current level of Emergency Liquidity Assistance
(ELA) until Monday, 25 March 2013," the ECB said in a statement.
"Thereafter, Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) could only
be considered if an EU/IMF programme is in place that would
ensure the solvency of the concerned banks," it added.