The uptake of a low-rate loan program by the European Central Bank (ECB) met market expectations on Thursday, amid calls for the central bank to do more to help kick start the region’s economy.
The second allotment of the targeted long-term refinancing operation (TLTRO) came in at 129.84 billion euros ($162 billion), according to the bank, narrowly missing analysts’ median expectations of 130 billion euros, in a Reuters poll.
LTROs are cheap loans provided to euro zone banks and have been implemented by the ECB alongside the purchases of covered bonds and asset backed securities.
The uptake of the loans has been less than the ECB originally hoped for when the scheme was first announced. Along with the first round of lending, the total take up comes to 212.4 billion euros – significantly short of the 400 billion euros on offer this year.
However, it managed to beat many gloomier predictions, and analysts disagreed on what impact this might have on the potential for a full sovereign bond-buying program by the ECB.