UPDATE 1-Talk of extra ECB steps just speculation-Bini Smaghi

* Bini Smaghi said talk of extra ECB steps “speculation”

* Says rating agencies which jump the gun lost credibility

* ECB data show Greece lost competitiveness

(Adds details, quotes, byline)

By Brian Rohan

BERLIN, April 30 (BestGrowthStock) – The European Central Bank is
working on the ‘A’ plan for Greece and talk about any additional
measures is pure speculation, Executive Board member Lorenzo
Bini Smaghi said on Friday.

Asked if the ECB would provide extra liquidity or consider
buying government bonds, he said: “We’re working on the ‘A’
plan, we think that if everybody signs the ‘A’ plan it will
work. Everything else is just speculation.”

The ECB is expected to keep rates at a record low 1 percent
this week and analysts see no change before early 2011. U.S.
economist Nouriel Roubini said on Friday the ECB should cut
rates to help Greece and provide extra loans. [ID:nLDE63T0J4]

Bini Smaghi told a news conference after an Aspen Institute
conference that he expected a Greek aid deal to be signed off by
the European Commission, the ECB and the International Monetary
Fund this weekend and it would include new growth forecasts for
Greece.

In a swipe at Standard & Poors, which downgraded Greece to
junk status earlier this week, Bini Smaghi said ratings agencies
which downgraded a country before they saw the full details of
their situation lost credibility.

“Greece is on the verge of adapting a series of reforms
which are very important, which will change the way that the
country is working,” he said.

“People who give a judgement on this programme without
knowing it, and saying it will not work, some of these are
ratings agencies which are giving judgments without knowing.
It is very surprising that ratings agencies already communicate
their intentions before knowing the data. This is limit of
ethical good practice and it will lead to a loss of credibility
for these rating agencies.”

Bini Smaghi said countries in difficulty had lost
competitiveness and needed to adopt structural reforms.

ECB figures show Greece has lost competitiveness against
many countries, both inside and out of the euro zone, in the
last decade.

The Greek competitiveness indicator, based on consumer price
indices, deteriorated to 107.5 points in March, compared with
101.5 points average for the euro zone and 94.4 points for
Germany, its largest economy.

The index was set at 100 points in 1999. The higher the
reading, the more a country has lost competitiveness. Portugal,
Ireland and Spain, which have large public sector deficits, have
also lost competitiveness, whereas most triple-A rated euro-zone
countries have seen gains.

Investing Basics
(Writing by Krista Hughes, editing by Mike Peacock)

UPDATE 1-Talk of extra ECB steps just speculation-Bini Smaghi