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Greek current account surplus widens in July, helped by ECB inflow

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Newly sworn-in Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is hoping to re-appoint Euclid Tsakalotos as his finance minister on Tuesday but is struggling to persuade him to stay on in his post.

[ATHENS] Greece's current account surplus widened sharply in July from the same month a year earlier, mainly due to a 1.8 billion euro (S$2.87 billion) inflow of bond gains from the European Central Bank which boosted the income balance, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

"The relevant inflow, which contributed to a significant improvement in the secondary income account, was followed by the transfer of the funds to a Greek government account held with the ECB as cash collateral for the disbursement by the EFSM of 7.2 billion euros under a bridge financing agreement," the central bank said.

The data showed the surplus stood nearly quadrupled to 4.25 billion euros versus 1.27 billion euros in July 2014. Tourism revenues rose slightly to 2.87 billion euros from 2.77 billion euros in the same month last year.

Last year Greece posted a current account surplus of 1.66 billion euros, up from 1.09 billion euros in 2013, helped by higher tourism revenues - its biggest foreign currency earner.

REUTERS