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Spanish banks seen taking 18b euro in ECB cheap loans: Economy Minister

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Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos on Tuesday said he expected Spanish banks to take up to around 18 billion euros (US$23 billion) in the European Central Bank's next auction of cheap long term loans in December.

[MADRID] Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos on Tuesday said he expected Spanish banks to take up to around 18 billion euros (US$23 billion) in the European Central Bank's next auction of cheap long term loans in December.

"In the first (auction), (Spanish) entities took around 15 billion euros, I expect them to ask for some 17 billion or 18 billion euros now," Mr De Guindos told a parliamentary meeting.

The four-year loans to banks are part of an ECB stimulus package to revive the eurozone economy. Lenders in the area took 82.6 billion euros of 400 billion euros on offer in a first September auction, less than had been expected.

REUTERS