ECB said to favor 6 pct threshold for stress tests
The European Central Bank favors requiring banks to show they can retain capital worth 6 percent of their assets when it puts them through a simulated recession later this year, said two euro-area officials with knowledge of the matter. A majority of policy makers and technical officials have reached consensus on the benchmark for the ECB’s stress test, the people said, asking not to be identified as the deliberations are not public. The threshold must still be agreed on with the European Banking Authority that coordinates the exams, and a small number of countries wanting an easier benchmark may press for a compromise lower than 6 percent, one of the people
The government is making plans for a reduction to the valueadded tax on coastal shipping services soon, Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told a board meeting of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels yesterday, in a bid to bolster tourism traffic to the country’s island destinations. said. A benchmark of 6 percent would be tougher than the 5 percent set by the London-based EBA in 2011, when tests failed to spot shortcomings at banks that later collapsed. Policymakers say they’re determined to convince investors that their health check of institutions is thorough and credible as the ECB prepares to take over supervision of about 130 euro-area lenders from France’s BNP Paribas SA to Bank of Valletta Plc in Malta. An ECB spokeswoman declined to comment on the specific number, saying a final decision has not yet been taken and any decision needs to be coordinated with the EBA.
No White Week.
The Education Ministry has decided against introducing a midterm break for schools in the first week of March, dubbed “White Week.” Greek hoteliers had requested the measure in a bid to allow families to embark on winter trips in the week starting with the Clean Monday holiday (March 3-7). However, a ministry official told Kathimerini yesterday that “the proposal for the immediate application of the measure has not yet matured enough,” as secondary education teachers had expressed opposition to the plan and the ministry is concerned about the already short school year, which starts annually on September 11 and concludes on May 20 ahead of the end-of-year exams. Parent associations have signaled it is not time they are short of but money.
Romania plans to issue another bond in the international capital markets before the end of the first half of the year, a government official stated. “We will issue a 10-year bond in euro sometime in the first half of the year. Our aim is to extend our yield curve,” said Budget Minister Liviu Voinea.