Most euro zone banks increase government bond holdings

Wednesday 28 May 2014 12.37
Bucking the trend, Irish banks decreased their government debt holdings by €3.4 billion
Bucking the trend, Irish banks decreased their government debt holdings by €3.4 billion

Euro zone banks mainly stocked up on sovereign debt in April, data from the European Central Bank shows today.

Italian banks bought €9.4 billion in government debt in April after a €2.1 billion increase in March, marking the largest monthly rise since June last year.

At a market value of €430 billion, Italian banks' holdings of government bonds remain the largest in the euro zone.

Dutch banks bought €3.5 billion worth of government bonds in April, after buying €596m's worth in March - the largest monthly rise since February 2012.

Bucking the trend, Irish banks decreased their government debt holdings by €3.4 billion, with the market value falling to €48.1 billion. 

Greece also saw a decrease, with banks selling €256m of sovereign debt. Adjusted for market value, Greek banks' sovereign debt holdings fell to €15 billion.