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Report: ECB to lift supervisory cap on Greek banks purchasing sovereign debt

The ECB's Single Supervisory Mechanism is expected to lift a cap on Greek lenders' holdings of sovereign bonds in February 2020, allowing banks to purchase more debt, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 18, citing people familiar with the situation.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and ECB President Christine Lagarde discussed ending the supervisory restriction on sovereign notes during a Dec. 17 meeting, according to one of the newswire's sources. The ceiling was first placed in 2015 when European and national authorities warned Greek banks about increasing their exposure to local debt for "prudential reasons."

In October, the European Commission approved Greece's asset protection scheme plan, which is aimed to reduce the stock of nonperforming loans of local banks without distorting the market through government subsidies.