Frankfurt, 18 September (STA) - Slovenian banks took out EUR 76m in loans in what was the first auction of the European Central Bank (ECB), an attempt to fight deflation in the eurozone. The first in what will be a series of auctions planned until 2016 has given out EUR 82.6bn, which was less than the EUR 100bn expected by analysts.
Slovenia's central bank said in a press release after the Thursday auction that the response from Slovenian banks was "low" as expected.
Banka Slovenije said that banks have the possibility to "divide their action" between the auction today and the next scheduled for December and that their decisions depend on their liquidity, revenue and expected demand for loans to companies and households.
"Banks are still not in the position to lend money," financial analyst Primiž Cencelj told the STA. The timing of the auction - just before the announcement of stress test results and quality analyses - also is not perfect, he added.
The European Banking Authority is currently performing stress tests and capital quality reviews at 120 banks in the eurozone and results will expectedly be announced on 17 October.
This view was echoed by another financial analyst Matej Šimic, who believes that the expectations were too high for the first auction. "European banks are in the process of stress tests and result presentation so it was hard to expect more."
He believes the December auction will be much more important. "It will show much more clearly the banks' crediting plans for the coming year and whether the ECB's plan will bear fruit."
Slovenian banks were reserved in their comments about the auction. While Abanka and NKBM did not reveal anything, Unicredit banka Slovenije said that the entire Unicredit group took out EUR 7.75bn from the ECB and that the group would also take part in the December auction.