PRESS RELEASE

Decisions on ECB interest rates

18 February 1999

At today's meeting the Governing Council of the ECB reviewed the monetary, financial and economic situation in the euro area against the background of its stability-oriented monetary policy strategy. The Governing Council confirmed its earlier assessment that the prospects for price stability remain favourable and that no strong pressures - either upward or downward - can be identified. The Governing Council therefore decided that for the two main refinancing operations to be settled on 24 February and 3 March 1999 the same conditions will apply as for the main refinancing operations already settled this year, i.e. they will be fixed rate tenders conducted at an interest rate of 3.0%. In addition, the interest rate on the marginal lending facility will continue to be 4.5% and the interest rate on the deposit facility will remain 2.0%.

Furthermore, the Governing Council decided that the second longer-term refinancing operation, which will be settled on 25 February 1999, will be conducted as a variable rate tender, using the single rate allotment procedure. As already indicated, the ECB intends to allot an amount of EUR 15 billion in this tender.

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