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ECB Launches EUR 750 Bln Pandemic Bond Purchase Programme

ecbank sep12 18mar20 lt

The European Central Bank announced a new EUR 750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme to combat the risks posed by the outbreak and escalating diffusion of the coronavirus.

At an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday, the governing council decided to launch a new temporary asset purchase programme that covers both public and private securities to counter the serious risks to the monetary policy transmission.

The bank expanded the eligible securities for purchases to non-financial commercial papers and eased the collateral standards which would help banks to get more funds. Greek government bonds are also included in the program.

"Extraordinary times require extraordinary action," ECB President Christine Lagarde said.

The bank said the net asset purchases will be terminated once it judges that the covid-19 crisis phase is over, but in any case not before the end of the year.

"The Governing Council is fully prepared to increase the size of its asset purchase programmes and adjust their composition, by as much as necessary and for as long as needed," the ECB said in a statement. "It will explore all options and all contingencies to support the economy through this shock."

The bank also said it will consider revising self-imposed limits on quantitative easing and not tolerate any risks to the smooth transmission of its monetary policy in all jurisdictions of the euro area.

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