ECB capital increase under discussion: source

14th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The European Central Bank might ask member central banks to approve a capital increase this week, a European source close to the matter told AFP on Tuesday.

A capital hike is on the agenda of a meeting of ECB governors on Thursday and talks on the issue are underway with the Eurosystem of member central banks, the source said.

The source did not say how much might be involved.

The ECB declined to comment on Tuesday.

Its subscribed capital currently stands at almost 5.8 billion euros (eight billion dollars).

Press reports said a capital increase would strengthen the ECB's safety net as it deals with risk linked to purchases of public debt issued by weaker eurozone countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Last week, the central bank bought almost 2.7 billion euros worth of sovereign bonds, bringing the total of its purchases to around 72 billion euros since the Greek debt crisis worsened in May.

© 2010 AFP

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