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ECB's Draghi says central bank is prepared to offer new round of cheap bank loans 'if needed'

BRUSSELS - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Monday that another round of cheap loans could be provided to banks if needed to keep borrowing rates low and support the recovery. Draghi told the European Parliament in Brussels the 17-nation eurozone's economic revival still "needs to be firmly established." To help, the ECB is ready not only to keep its benchmark interest rate low for "an extended period of time" but also to offer a new round of so-called LTRO loans to banks "if needed," Draghi said.

ECB holds key rate steady amid signs of recovery

The European Central Bank held its key rates unchanged on Thursday as expected as the nascent recovery in the crisis-stricken euro area remains extremely vulnerable to setbacks. The ECB's governing council voted to keep the bank's key "refi" refinancing rate steady at an all-time low of 0.50 percent, it said in a statement. The central bank also left its other two rates -- the deposit rate and the marginal lending rate -- at zero percent and 1.0 percent respectively.

Israel rates call based solely on economic factors, says central banker

By Steven Scheer JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Bank of Israel held short-term interest rates last week because there was no economic reason to cut them, and not to defer any change in borrowing costs until a new governor was in place, a policymaker said. "Obviously, the data were not telling us that we had to cut or raise rates and indicated that rates were appropriate where they were," said Barry Topf, senior advisor to the governor and a member of the monetary policy committee (MPC).

European stocks steady before US jobs data

Europe's main stock markets mainly steadied on Friday as traders awaited monthly US jobs data and reacted to a batch of mixed company earnings. London's FTSE 100 index of top blue-chip companies edged down 0.09 percent to stand at 6,675.73 points around midday in the British capital. Frankfurt's DAX 30 inched up 0.06 percent to 8,415.98 points and the CAC 40 in Paris grew 0.15 percent to 4,048.72 compared with Thursday's closing levels.

Economist Leo Leiderman named Israel's central banker

Economist Leo Leiderman was named Israel's central banker on Wednesday, days after the previous candidate pulled out after an investigation against him on a shoplifting allegation. "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid have decided to name professor Leo Leiderman to the post of governor of the Bank of Israel," the government said in a statement. The appointment must still be formally approved by the government.

Frenkel rejects top Israel bank job in 'perfume affair'

The candidate named to become the new governor of Israel's central bank, Jacob Frenkel, said Monday he was rejecting the post after an investigation against him on a shoplifting allegation. "I have decided to give up the post of governor of the Bank of Israel," Frenkel told Israeli media. The commission charged with appointing senior civil servants asked Frenkel two weeks ago why he had failed to mention a 2006 incident at a duty-free boutique in Hong Kong international airport.

Report: top European Central Bank officials argue that bank should publish minutes of meetings

FRANKFURT - Two top European Central Bank officials are arguing that the bank should join peers such as the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England in publishing minutes of its policy-setting meetings. ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said in an interview published Monday by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and France's Le Figaro that he favours publishing minutes because people want transparency and accountability.

US deputy Treasury secretary to step down

Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, who helped steer the US economy through the Great Recession and financial reforms, will step down next month, the Treasury Department on Tuesday. Wolin, 51, has served more than four years in the administration of President Barack Obama. He will step down at the end of August, the Treasury said in a statement. The Treasury had previously announced Wolin would stay through a period of transition after Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew took office in late February.

Shoplifting allegation dogs incoming Israel bank chief

The appointment of Jacob Frenkel as Israel's next central bank governor has come under a cloud over his failure to disclose a past allegation of shoplifting, local media said Sunday. The Haaretz newspaper said that a committee on senior civil service appointments has asked the JP Morgan Chase International chairman to explain why he failed to inform it of a 2006 incident in a duty-free shop at Hong Kong international airport. "As he was leaving the store, a bottle of cologne that appeared not to have been paid for was found among Frenkel's belongings," the paper reported.

Shoplifting allegation dogs incoming Israel bank chief

The appointment of Jacob Frenkel as Israel's next central bank governor has come under a cloud over his failure to disclose a past allegation of shoplifting, local media said Sunday. The Haaretz newspaper said that a committee on senior civil service appointments has asked the JP Morgan Chase International chairman to explain why he failed to inform it of a 2006 incident in a duty-free shop at Hong Kong international airport. "As he was leaving the store, a bottle of cologne that appeared not to have been paid for was found among Frenkel's belongings," the paper reported.
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