Consolidated financial statement of the Eurosystem as at 31 December 2008
Items not related to monetary policy operations
In the period ending 31 December 2008, the decrease of EUR 2 billion in gold and gold receivables (asset item 1) mainly reflected quarterly revaluation adjustments, as well as the sale of gold by one Eurosystem central bank (consistent with the Central Bank Gold Agreement that came into effect on 27 September 2004).
At the end of 2008, an accounting reclassification took place for securities that were previously disclosed under other assets (asset item 9). The reclassification related only to securities that were not designated part of an earmarked portfolio.  This led to increases in balance sheet items, as given below:
(a) EUR 147.7 billion in securities of euro area residents denominated in euro (asset item 7);
(b) EUR 9.7 billion in securities of non-euro area residents denominated in euro (asset item 4.1);
(c) EUR 9.9 billion in securities denominated in foreign currency issued by non-euro area residents (asset item 2.2); and
(d) EUR 4.7 billion in securities denominated in foreign currency issued by euro area residents (asset item 3).
The corresponding total decrease of EUR 172 billion is reflected under other assets (asset item 9). Securities designated part of an earmarked portfolio continue to be included in asset item A9.
It should also be noted that there was a decrease of EUR 0.2 billion in other claims on euro area credit institutions denominated in euro (asset item 6), which corresponds to a further accounting reclassification for financial instruments (other than securities) held as part of an earmarked portfolio. The assets are now all disclosed under other assets (asset item 9).
These reclassifications are purely administrative and are intended to improve the transparency of the Eurosystem’s financial statements.
The net position of the Eurosystem in foreign currency (asset items 2 and 3 minus liability items 7, 8 and 9) rose by EUR 12.5 billion to EUR 373.2 billion. The change was mainly due to the accounting reclassifications mentioned above, in addition to customer and portfolio transactions and the effect of the quarterly revaluation of assets and liabilities. On Tuesday, 30 December 2008, an EUR/CHF foreign exchange swap operation of CHF 16.9 billion, with a maturity of seven days, matured and a new operation of CHF 22.6 billion, with a maturity of eight days, was settled. This operation was conducted by the Eurosystem in connection with the temporary reciprocal currency arrangement (swap line) between the ECB and the Swiss National Bank and had no effect on the net position of the Eurosystem in foreign currency.
On Wednesday, 31 December 2008, a liquidity-providing repurchase transaction of EUR 0.5 billion, with a maturity of five days, was settled, affecting claims on non-euro area residents denominated in euro (asset item 4). This transaction was conducted by the Eurosystem in connection with the agreement with the Magyar Nemzeti Bank to provide a facility to support the latter’s operations.
The holdings by the Eurosystem of marketable securities of euro area residents denominated in euro (asset item 7) increased by EUR 149.9 billion to EUR 271.2 billion, mainly on account of the aforementioned accounting reclassifications.
Banknotes in circulation (liability item 1) decreased by EUR 2.5 billion to EUR 762.9 billion. Liabilities to general government (liability item 5.1) decreased by EUR 24.6 billion to EUR 83.3 billion.
Items related to monetary policy operations
The Eurosystem’s net lending to credit institutions (asset item 5 minus liability items 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 4) increased by EUR 46.7 billion to EUR 660 billion. On Tuesday, 30 December 2008, a main refinancing operation of EUR 223.7 billion matured and a new one of EUR 238.9 billion was settled.
Recourse to the marginal lending facility (asset item 5.5) was EUR 4.1 billion (compared with EUR 1.8 billion in the previous week), while recourse to the deposit facility (liability item 2.2) was EUR 200.5 billion (compared with EUR 229.8 billion in the preceding week).
Current accounts of euro area credit institutions
As a result of all transactions, the current account position of credit institutions with the Eurosystem (liability item 2.1) increased by EUR 65.8 billion to EUR 291.7 billion.
Quarter-end revaluation of the Eurosystem’s assets and liabilities
In line with the Eurosystem’s harmonised accounting rules, gold, foreign exchange, securities holdings and financial instruments of the Eurosystem are revalued at market rates and prices as at the end of each quarter. The net impact of the revaluation on each balance sheet item as at 31 December 2008 is shown in the additional column “ Difference compared with last week due to revaluations”. The gold price and the principal exchange rates used for the revaluation of balances were as follows:
Gold: EUR 621.542 per fine oz.
USD: 1.3917 per EUR
JPY: 126.14 per EUR
Special drawing rights: EUR 1.1048 per SDR
 An earmarked portfolio matches an identifiable item on the liabilities side of the balance sheet, irrespective of whether there is a legal, statutory or other constraint (e.g. pension funds, severance schemes, provisions, capital, reserves).
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