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ECB puts $713 billion into circulation

Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

FRANKFURT, Germany, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- The European Central Bank said its emergency liquidity program loaned $713 billion to 800 banks, numbers that exceeded the banks' December loan bonanza.

In December, 523 banks participated in a low-interest loan program that put $655 billion into circulation, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The latest round of borrowing involved collateral-backed loans at 1 percent interest with no limit set for the amount borrowed.

The terms also included extending the normal one-year duration to three years, a move intended to give banks and investors confidence the liquidity in the financial system will not evaporate soon.

The bank has not said whether a third round of lending would be made available. The latest program was offered, in part, to offset a tighter capital market that is expected due to the $170 billion bailout of Greece.

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