ECB already owns more than 30 billion in Portuguese debt

  • ECO News
  • 6 November 2017

The European Central Bank has repurchased another 500 million euros in Portuguese bonds this October within the stimuli plan that was extended until September of 2018.

It is a round number. The European Central Bank (ECB) already owns more than 30 billion euros in Portuguese Treasury bonds, around 12% of the total amount of public debt, after the central bank headed by Mario Draghi acquired in October more than 489 million euros in national securities.

According to data published this Monday by the central bank, this was the third month in a row in which the purchases of Portuguese government securities stood below 500 million euros. This purchase reflects the smaller liquidity the institution has been facing in the Portuguese debt market within the public sector assets’ purchase plan launched in 2015 and which has been recently extended for another nine months, until September of 2018.

The rules of the programme establish that ECB can acquire around 1,200 million euros per month on Portuguese bonds, but the amount of acquisitions in Portugal has been consecutively below that goal — the monthly average of the past 12 months has been standing at around 521 million euros.

Still, all in all, the central bank’s portfolio already has 30.059 billion euros in Portuguese securities, reinforcing its statute as Portugal’s largest institutional creditor, owning around 12% of the total amount of the country’s debt. In September, public indebtedness stood at 249.1 billion euros.

The institution headed by Draghi is purchasing public debt in a total of 60 billion euros until the end of the year, after starting this programme in March of 2015 to relaunch the economy of the Euro Area and to maintain inflation within their goal, close to 2%. More than two years later, ECB will start decreasing the purchase rhythm to just 30 billion euros per month from January of 2018 until September, at least.

In the Board of Governors’ meeting, the decision was to reapply the money obtained from matured Treasury bonds in the acquisition of new securities. The entity headed in Frankfurt disclosed today that it is planning on reinvesting 2.2 billion euros in November.