ROME, March 31 (Reuters) - The Bank of Italy bought 115 billion euros ($123 billion) in domestic government bonds last year as part of the European Central Bank’s asset purchase programme, helping push its total assets to a new record.
The bank held assets worth 774 billion euros at the end of last year up from 587 billion euros a year earlier, Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said on Friday in the text of a speech delivered to shareholders in Rome.
Its domestic government bond holdings totalled 186 billion euros and represented the bulk of overall 245 billion euros in securities it bought as part of the ECB’s extraordinary monetary policy measures.
Italy’s liabilities under the Target 2 system which settles cross border payments in the euro zone rose by 108 billion euros last year due to Italians investing their savings abroad and domestic banks replacing foreign funding with central bank liquidity, it said.($1 = 0.9353 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Steve Scherer)