ELA trend reversed on bailout worries
Emergency central bank funding to Greek lenders rose by 300 million euros, or 0.7 percent, in February compared to the previous month, Bank of Greece data showed yesterday. Emergency funding, which is more costly than borrowing from the European Central Bank, increased to 43.1 billion euros at the end of February from 42.8 billion euros at the end of January, the data showed. Banks have relied on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) drawn from the Greek central bank since February 2015 after being cut off from the ECB’s funding window due to stalled bailout talks between the government and its official lenders. Their dependence on the ELA emergency lifeline has declined since June last year when the European Central Bank reinstated banks’ access to its cheap funding operations.