ECB to publish breakdown of its company debt buys

The European Central Bank will begin to publish more detailed information about the corporate bonds it has bought as part of its stimulus programme, it said on Friday, after pressure from European and national lawmakers for more transparency.

The data, scheduled to be published at 1400 GMT on Friday, will shed light on a component of the ECB’s bond-buying scheme that may gain prominence in the coming months as purchases of government debt are likely curbed to avoid hitting legal limits.

The ECB will show how closely it is sticking to its plan to buy bonds in proportion to the outstanding debt of euro zone companies that are rated investment grade and are not banks.

The data will detail the distribution of the ECB’s 114.7 billion euros corporate holdings per country, rating and sector at the end of September, comparing it with the eligible universe.

It will then be updated twice per year.

Although the ECB regularly discloses which bonds it buys, it does not reveal the value of each holding.

The central bank is expected to announce on Oct 26 that it will reduce its monthly purchases, currently at 60 billion euros, from January in light of stronger inflation and economic growth in the euro zone.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa)

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