LISBON Feb 14 Portuguese banks' borrowing from
the European Central Bank fell nearly 6 percent last month to
its lowest in almost a year after some banks repaid crisis loans
Banks from across Europe repaid a total 134 billion of the
roughly 1 trillion euros of three-year loans made by the ECB
about a year ago at the first opportunity last month, as
liquidity conditions improved somewhat.
Two Portuguese banks have said they repaid some of the
Bank of Portugal data showed on Thursday that cumulative
borrowing by the country's banks from the euro zone's central
bank fell to 49.7 billion euros ($66.8 billion) in January from
52.8 billion euros in December.
It was well below a record high of 60.5 billion reached in
June last year, when banks were still unable to borrow elsewhere
due to concerns over the country's debt crisis and relied almost
entirely on ECB for liquidity.
Lisbon is working to repair its public finances and return
to the debt market as it aims to exit a 78-billion-euro EU/IMF
bailout programme arranged in 2011 by mid-2014.
The government hopes a recent easing in bond yields and its
return to the debt market in late January for the first time
since the rescue will make it easier for banks and companies to
borrow, helping the economy out of its three-year recession.
($1 = 0.7442 euros)
(Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Catherine Evans)