PRESS RELEASE

First step towards the introduction of the single list of collateral provided for in the revised version of the “General Documentation”

30 May 2005

As announced in a press release on 21 February 2005, the revised version of the document entitled “The implementation of monetary policy in the euro area: General documentation on Eurosystem monetary policy instruments and procedures” (generally referred to as the “General Documentation”) entered into force today. The amendments include all changes to the Eurosystem’s operational framework for monetary policy that have been approved by the Governing Council since February 2004. These changes mainly relate to the rules for eligible assets and are linked to the implementation within the Eurosystem monetary policy framework of the first phase of the “single list of collateral”. The most important of these changes are summarised below.

Introduction into the list of tier one assets of euro-denominated debt instruments issued by entities established in the G10 countries that are not part of the European Economic Area

As of 1 July 2005, selected debt instruments issued by entities established in the G10 countries that are not part of the European Economic Area (currently the United States, Canada, Japan and Switzerland) will be added to the list of eligible assets that is published on the ECB’s website.

It is important to note that only those debt instruments that fulfil the Eurosystem’s eligibility criteria for tier one assets, including the requirement of being denominated in euro, and that are covered, in addition, by a legal assessment on the applicable legal framework and on the rules that would apply to the enforcement of Eurosystem rights will be included as of that date.

Should a counterparty wish to use as collateral debt instruments that belong to the category defined here, but are not yet on the list of eligible assets in effect as of 1 July 2005, it should contact its national central bank (NCB) for guidance on the procedures for their possible inclusion.

Debt instruments issued by credit institutions

The criterion that uncovered debt instruments issued by credit institutions should have an “issue” or “programme” rating has been abolished; an “issuer” rating is now sufficient. The debt instruments that have become eligible as a result of this change are now included in the list of eligible assets published on the ECB’s website.

Debt instruments listed, quoted or traded on a non-regulated market

Following the publication of a provisional list of non-regulated markets that are accepted by the Eurosystem as complying with its collateral framework (see also the Review of the Eurosystem’s Collateral Framework: First step towards a Single List, published on 10 May 2004), the ECB is today publishing the complete list of accepted non-regulated markets (see Table 1). Assets listed, quoted or traded on an accepted non-regulated market are immediately eligible if they fulfil all the other eligibility criteria set out in Section 6.2 of the “General Documentation”.

Table 1

Location of the market Name of the market
Belgium The OTC market for Belgian Treasury bills (BTB)
Germany The unofficial market (“Freiverkehr”) of a German exchange
The MTS Deutschland market for Bubills
France Government securities (Bons du Trésor: BTF/BTAN) markets
French commercial paper (billets de trésorerie) market
French Medium-Term Notes (BMTN) market
Netherlands The OTC money market for Dutch Treasury Certificates (DTC)
Austria Third market (“Dritter Markt”)
Finland The money market for Treasury bills (Finnish Treasury Bill Programme)
MTS Finland
United Kingdom OTC market for Bank of England Euro Bills

The list in Table 1 will be reassessed at least annually. It is recalled that currently eligible assets that do not fulfil the criterion of being listed, quoted or traded on one of the non-regulated markets given in Table 1 will remain eligible until May 2007. After that date, any assets that continue to be exchanged only on non-accepted markets will no longer be eligible.

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