BANGALORE Banks will repay 130 billion euros ($173.6 billion) of the European Central Bank's second three-year loan at their first opportunity to do so on February 27, a Reuters poll showed, slightly more than last week's prediction.
The consensus for the repayment of ECB's second crisis loan of 530 billion euros has been marginally increasing since Reuters began polling on that amount three weeks ago.
Traders forecast banks will repay early 125 billion euros of those loans in last week's poll.
Banks returned 137 billion euros of the first-tranche of loans when the first opportunity arose on January 30, although further repayments quickly dwindled.
Forecasts in the latest survey of 23 money market traders ranged from 60 billion euros to 200 billion euros, a smaller spread compared with last week's poll.
Fifteen of 24 traders who answered an additional question on the poll said the early repayments of ECB's crisis loans were a sign of increased confidence in money markets, while the remaining nine said they were not.
The poll also showed banks will return another 4 billion euros from the first tranche of the three-year loans next week, little changed from the 3.8 billion euros they will repay this week, from data published by the ECB on Friday.
The regular poll of 25 traders predicted that the ECB will lend banks 125 billion euros at its regular weekly refinancing operation, compared with 128.7 billion maturing this week.
($1 = 0.7490 euros)
(Reporting by Deepti Govind; Polling by Sarmista Sen and Somya Gupta; Editing by Toby Chopra)