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ECB Leaves Interest Rate at Record Low 0.75% - Euro Zone Could See Growth Return in 2014

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 11, 2013) - The Euro strengthened Thursday after the European Central Bank decided to leave its key rate unchanged at a record low 0.75 percent. While European officials had discussed a potential rate cut, the "prevailing consensus was to leave the rates unchanged," ECB President Mario Draghi said. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on Bank of Ireland ( NYSE : IRE ) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc ( NYSE : RBS ).

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The ECB's decision to leave its key interest rate at its record low of 0.75 percent came on the same day the Bank of England announced it would leave its interest rate at 0.5 percent. Mario Draghi at a recent press conference stated that the Eurozone's economy would begin to stabilize in the second half of the year, and could see growth return in 2014. The ECB has predicted that the Eurozone economy will shrink 0.5 percent in 2013, an increase from their previous forecast of 0.3 percent, while estimated growth for 2014 is expected to be 1 percent, according to data from Bloomberg.

"The key take aways from the [ECB] meeting are that all options remain open and that the ECB hasn't closed the door for further easing if financial conditions tighten," said James Ashley, senior economist at RBC Capital Markets.

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Bank of Ireland is a diversified Financial Services Group established in 1783 by Royal Charter. Shares of the company have received a boost recently with its pending entry to the Footsie All World Services Index, effective on March 15th. The Bank of Ireland reported a loss of 1.8 billion euros ($2.3billion) for the full year 2012.

The RBS group is a large international banking and financial services company. From its headquarters in Edinburgh, the Group serves over 30 million customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia. RBS reported an operating profit of £3,462 million for the full year 2012, compared to an operating profit of £1,824 million a year ago.

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