PRESS RELEASE

Review of the international role of the euro

7 January 2005

The European Central Bank (ECB) is today publishing its annual review of the international role of the euro. This is the fourth publication of its kind. As with previous issues, the review reflects the ongoing efforts of the ECB to monitor and analyse the use of the euro by non-euro area residents in global markets and in countries outside the euro area.

This review, which focuses on developments between mid-2003 and mid-2004, confirms a number of findings that had already been identified in previous years. First, the use of the euro by non-euro area residents continues to show a significant degree of stability. Second, the review provides additional evidence of the increasing use of the euro in euro area countries’ trade with non-euro area countries, as well as in the foreign trade of a number of the countries which joined the EU on 1 May 2004 and EU candidate countries. Third, the international use of the euro is most prominent in regions neighbouring the euro area and has been driven, to some extent, by euro area investors, who have purchased significant amounts of euro-denominated international bonds. Tapping demand from euro area investors appears to have been one of the key factors in the decision of foreign corporations to issue debt denominated in euro, as shown in the “Special focus” section of the review, which this year studies the choice of currency in international corporate bond issuance.

The review can be downloaded from the ECB's website at http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/other/euro-international-role2005en.pdf. Copies can also be obtained by writing to the ECB's Press and Information Division at the address given below.

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