March 23, 2017 / 8:44 AM / 5 months ago

ECB raises emergency funding cap for Greek banks to 46.6 bln euros

ATHENS, March 23 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank raised the cap on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) Greek banks can draw from the domestic central bank by 400 million euros to 46.6 billion euros ($50.25 billion) the Bank of Greece said on Thursday.

The move reflected liquidity conditions in Greece's banking system, taking into account private sector deposit flows, it said. The ELA ceiling is valid up to April 5.

Greek banks have relied on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) since February 2015 after being cut off from the ECB's funding window. Emergency funding is more costly than borrowing directly from the ECB.

In June last year the ECB reinstated Greek banks' access to its cheap funding operations, allowing lenders to reduce their dependence on the emergency liquidity lifeline.

ELA funding to Greek lenders rose by 300 million euros, or 0.7 percent to 43.1 billion euros at the end of February compared to the previous month. ($1 = 0.9273 euros) (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)

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