More than a year ago, on 8 June 2016, the European Central Bank (ECB) started its corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP) with the aim of strengthening the pass-through of the Eurosystem’s asset purchases to financing conditions of the real economy. In response to a question written jointly by a cross-party initiative of 41 members of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) in the European Parliament, the ECB today disclosed more details on its securities purchases.
The CSPP purchases are carried out by six national central banks (NCBs) acting on behalf of the Eurosystem and coordinated by the ECB. The CSPP purchases are conducted according to a benchmark that reflects proportionally of the market value of eligible bonds. CSPP holdings stood at €92 billion as of 7 June 2017, corresponding to around 11% of the CSPP-eligible bond universe. Holdings are diversified over around 950 securities, issued by around 200 issuer groups. So far, only purchasing NCBs publish a list of the individual bonds they hold on a weekly basis without revealing the size of their holdings in each bond.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“We welcome the disclosure of a consolidated list of corporate bonds purchased by the Eurosystem. This is a great success for more transparency! In a monetary union, National Central Banks have to apply the same transparency rules. The public has a right to know which companies benefit from the expansive monetary policy of the ECB. Following the good example given by some National Central Banks, now also the ECB publishes not only the International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) but also the name of the issuer. However, it is regrettable that the ECB like the German Central Bank does not specify the amount of securities purchased paper by paper. It is understandable that central banks do not want to publish quantitative details immediately after the purchase. However, full transparency should be guaranteed after a well-defined grace period.
We acknowledge that the Eurosystem has been purchasing green bonds in line with their weightings in the benchmark. In order to promote divestment and climate-friendly investments, the ECB should build on this and set clear environmental, social and government standards when choosing which bonds to purchase. The central bank should not continue to hollow out divestment efforts of the private and public sector.“
List of securities held under the corporate sector purchase programme as of 23 June 2017:
Answer of the ECB of 26 June 2017:
Written Question ECON of 1 June 2017
ECB Guidelines: ECB Decision (EU) 2016/948:
Initial Analysis of the impact of the CSPP of August 2016:
Communication “The ECB’s corporate sector purchase programme: its implementation and impact” of June 2017: