In an interview to appear in Monday's
Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, the head of the European
Stability Mechanism (ESM) said the five countries were
benefiting from rising exports and economic growth was
returning. He said it was important that the reforms continue.
"The banks in the program countries are in quite good shape,"
Regling is quoted as saying. "I expect that there won't be any
big surprises in Spain, Portugal and Cyprus. The same is the
case for Greece and Ireland."
The ECB's asset quality review, an assessment of the balance
sheets of more than 120 banks due to be completed next autumn,
should bring transparency on the quality of banks' loans and
Bankers say that the latest checks on capital and stress tests
of banks' resilience to shocks must be rigorous, pointing to the
2011 tests that found no weaknesses among Spanish and Irish
banks, even though the countries subsequently asked for bailouts
of their banking sectors.
European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn has said that
banks are already preparing for the results of the stress tests
by raising capital on the market, with about 80 billion euros
($109.49 billion) raised to strengthen banks over the past
couple of years.
($1 = 0.7307 euros)
(Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum;
editing by Matthew Lewis)
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