The exceptional circumstances in one Eurosystem central bank, which prevented that central bank from producing its balance sheet as at 7 March and 14 March 2008, have continued and have also prevented the production of a balance sheet as at 21 March 2008. Consequently this week’s Eurosystem consolidated financial statement reflects the latest available balance sheet information provided by the Eurosystem central bank in question, namely its financial statement as at 29 February 2008.
In the week ending 21 March 2008 the decrease of EUR 55 million in gold and gold receivables (asset item 1) reflected the sale of gold by one Eurosystem central bank (consistent with the Central Bank Gold Agreement that came into effect on 27 September 2004).
The net position of the Eurosystem in foreign currency (asset items 2 and 3 minus liability items 7, 8 and 9) increased by EUR 0.7 billion to EUR 139.1 billion on account of customer and portfolio transactions.
The holdings by the Eurosystem of marketable securities of euro area residents denominated in euro (asset item 7) were EUR 107.3 billion (approximately the same as in the preceding week). Banknotes in circulation (liability item 1) increased by EUR 7.1 billion to EUR 665.7 billion. Liabilities to general government (liability item 5.1) rose by EUR 9.4 billion to EUR 72.9 billion.
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 7.7 billion to EUR 483.6 billion. On Wednesday, 19 March 2008, a main refinancing operation of EUR 209.5 billion matured and a new one of EUR 202 billion was settled. On Thursday, 20 March 2008, a liquidity-providing fine-tuning operation of EUR 15 billion with a maturity date of 25 March 2008 was settled.
Recourse to the marginal lending facility (asset item 5.5) was EUR 0.5 billion (compared with virtually nil in the preceding week), while recourse to the deposit facility (liability item 2.2) was EUR 0.7 billion (compared with EUR 0.2 billion in the preceding week).
As a result of all transactions, the current account position of credit institutions with the Eurosystem (liability item 2.1) decreased by EUR 9.4 billion to EUR 219.6 billion.
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