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Banks across the eurozone make early repayments worth €3.48 billion of the huge injection of ultra-cheap three-year emergency loans they received from the European Central Bank (ECB).
The central bank launched the lending operation in two batches, at the end of 2011 and in February 2012, loaning out more than €1 trillion to relieve stress on eurozone banks at the peak of the debt crisis. ECB gave banks the option of repaying any part of the money after just one year.
On January 30, 2013, a total of 278 banks had already repaid €137.16 bn of the long-term refinancing operations (LTRO).