PRESS RELEASE

ANNEX 1. Practical information on the changes to the Eurosystem's monetary policy operational framework

1 August 2003

- Transitional maintenance period and tim ing for the phasing-in of the measures

In order to phase in the new definition of reserve maintenance periods, a transitional extended maintenance period will start on 24 January 2004 and end on 9 March 2004. Reserve requirements related to the transitional maintenance period will be calculated using the reserve base as at 31 December 2003 for credit institutions reporting on a monthly basis and as at 30 September 2003 for credit institutions reporting on a quarterly basis. Reserve requirement figures relevant to the transitional maintenance period will be frozen on 17 February 2004.

The last MRO with a two-week maturity will be allotted on 2 March 2004. The first MRO with a one-week maturity will be allotted on 9 March 2004. These two MROs will mature on the same day, i.e. on 17 March 2004, and be replaced by a single one-week maturity MRO.

Finally, the longer-term refinancing operation (LTRO) will no longer be allotted on the first Wednesday of the reserve maintenance period. Instead, it will be normally allotted on the last Wednesday before the end of the calendar month. This measure will come into effect during the transitional maintenance period and thus there will be two LTROs allotted in this period: on 28 January 2004 and 25 February 2004.

The indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's tender operations in 2004 is also being published today.

- Reserve maintenance periods: length, starting and ending days and related reserve base

On 10 March 2004, the first reserve maintenance period defined fully according to the amended framework will start.

With the new definition, the length of reserve maintenance periods will vary somewhat more than with the current definition (28 to 31 days). During 2004, the maintenance periods will have a duration ranging from 28 to 43 days, excluding the transitional period (see Table 1 in section 2 below).

Also, as a consequence of the new definition, reserve maintenance periods will always start on a TARGET operating day and will rarely end on a non-TARGET day.

The period between the date on which the reserve base is calculated, i.e. the last day of a month, and the day of the month on which the relevant reserve maintenance period starts will be at least as long as at present: more than a full month for credit institutions reporting on a monthly basis and more than two months for credit institutions reporting on a quarterly basis (see Table 1 in section 2 below).

- Supporting legal and technical documentation

The supporting legal and technical documentation, encompassing the Regulation of the European Central Bank of 1 December 1998 on the application of minimum reserves (ECB/1998/15) as amended, and the document entitled "The Single Monetary Policy in the euro area - General documentation on Eurosystem monetary policy instruments and procedures (April 2002)" and the latter's subsequent transposition into the national legislation of the euro area countries, is currently being revised.

The amended Regulation of the European Central Bank of 1 December 1998 on the application of minimum reserves (ECB/1998/15) is scheduled to be published in December 2003. The revised version of "The Single Monetary Policy in the euro area - General documentation on Eurosystem monetary policy instruments and procedures" is scheduled to be published in February 2004; its transposition into the national legislation of the euro area countries is to come into force in March 2004.

2. Indicative reserve maintenance periods calendar for 2004

Taking into account the 2004 schedule for the meetings of the Governing Council of the ECB (see the ECB press release of 26 June 2003) and the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's tender operations in 2004, the indicative reserve maintenance periods calendar for 2004 is as follows:

Table 1. Indicative reserve maintenance periods calendar for 2004

Relevant Governing Council meeting Start of maintenance period End of maintenance period Reserve base data for credit institutions reporting monthly Reserve base data for credit institutions reporting quarterly Length of the maintenance period (days)
- 24 January 2004 9 March 2004 December 2003 September 2003 46
4 March 2004 10 March 2004 6 April 2004 January 2004 December 2003 28
1 April 2004 7 April 2004 11 May 2004 February 2004 December 2003 35
6 May 2004 12 May 2004 8 June 2004 March 2004 December 2003 28
3 June 2004 9 June 2004 6 July 2004 April 2004 March 2004 28
1 July 2004 7 July 2004 10 August 2004 May 2004 March 2004 35
5 August 2004 11 August 2004 7 September 2004 June 2004 March 2004 28
2 September 2004 8 September 2004 11 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 34
7 October 2004 12 October 2004 8 November 2004 August 2004 June 2004 28
4 November 2004 9 November 2004 7 December 2004 September 2004 June 2004 29
2 December 2004 8 December 2004 19 January 2005 October 2004 September 2004 43

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