FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank tightened its collateral acceptance rules on Thursday and revised haircut regulations, applying more stringent criteria on a range of assets, including certain asset-backed securities.


The ECB will ask for more stringent credit rating agency checks on covered bonds and will only accept a collateral if set-off rights - which would reduce the value of the asset in case of default - are eliminated or minimized, it said in a statement.


Set off rights allow two parties to net their claims against each other but in essence reduce the value of collateral in case of default and could force a central bank to take a loss.


The haircuts, a reduction in the value of collateral to account for a potential market moves, will also change, rising for asset backed securities with a longer remaining maturity, though the ECB said moves should only have minimal effect on the overall amount of collateral available.


The changes include graduated haircuts on some asset backed securities and floating-rate assets, the ECB said.


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(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi)