PRESS RELEASE

Review of the international role of the euro

21 December 2005

The European Central Bank (ECB) is today publishing its fifth annual review of the international role of the euro, focusing on developments between mid-2004 and mid-2005. The review confirms a number of findings that had already been identified in previous years. The euro has continued to gradually expand some aspects of its role as an international currency, while in other facets it has continued to show a significant degree of stability. In particular, during the period under review the use of the euro in international debt securities continued to increase gradually. In other markets, such as international loan and deposits and global foreign exchange, the use of the euro continued to exhibit a substantial degree of stability. In addition, the review confirms the strong institutional and regional pattern that continues to characterise the internationalisation of the euro.

Further evidence of this pattern is provided by the analysis of the factors underpinning the increase in the use of the euro in international trade, which is the subject of the “special focus” section of the review.

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.

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

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