AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (MNI) – The results of European bank stress
tests will be published “around July 23″ and will show the banking
sector is “solid and healthy,” France’s Finance Minister Christine
Lagarde said over the weekend, according to French agency reports.

“Around July 23 the results of the stress tests will be published,”
Christine Lagarde told journalists on the sidelines of a conference in
this southern French city, according to Agence France Presse. “You will
see that banks in Europe are solid and healthy.”

EU leaders agreed last month to publish the results of stress tests
in July, in the face of investor concern over the potential for big
balance sheet problems being hidden from view.

The tests, initially expected to cover just 22 banks, will no be
applied to more than 100. They are intended to show whether banks have
enough capital to absorb heavy losses triggered by economic or financial
shocks.

Financial markets have been plagued by fears that European banks’
are weighed down by vulnerable bonds from Greece, Spain and Portugal,
whose prices have dropped sharply during the sovereign debt crisis.

–Paris newsroom, +331-42-71-55-40; bwolfson@marketnews.com

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