August 28, 2018 / 8:31 AM / in 2 months

Italian banks' holdings of domestic govt bonds rise slightly in July - ECB

MILAN, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Italian government bonds held by banks operating in the country slightly rose to 383.5 billion euros ($439 billion) in July, from 380.5 billion a month earlier, data from the European Central Bank showed on Tuesday.

The July figure marks the highest level since May 2017 and is the seventh monthly increase in a row.

Domestic banks have stepped up purchases of government bonds as foreign investors reduced theirs in the last few months.

Foreign investors shed a net 33 billion euros in Italian government bonds in June, the Bank of Italy said last week, following a 25 billion sell-off in May, spooked by pledges to ramp up spending and unwind past deficit-curbing reforms from Italy’s new anti-establishment government. ($1 = 0.8744 euros) (Reporting by Luca Trogni; writing by Giulia Segreti; editing by Francesca Landini)

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