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Asset purchase programmes

Looking for information on the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP)?

The ECB’s asset purchase programme (APP) is part of a package of non-standard monetary policy measures that also includes targeted longer-term refinancing operations, and which was initiated in mid-2014 to support the monetary policy transmission mechanism and provide the amount of policy accommodation needed to ensure price stability. It consists of the

APP net purchases, by programme

The Eurosystem started to purchase securities under the asset purchase programmes of its APP in October 2014. The Governing Council recalibrated the overall net purchases under these programmes from time to time as follows:

  • €60 billion of net purchases from March 2015 to March 2016
  • €80 billion of net purchases from April 2016 to March 2017
  • €60 billion of net purchases from April to December 2017
  • €30 billion of net purchases from January to September 2018
  • €15 billion of net purchases from October to December 2018
  • No net purchases, only reinvestments of redemptions, from January to October 2019, as the Governing Council sought to maintain the size of its cumulative net purchases
  • €20 billion of net purchases from November 2019 to March 2022 (a temporary €120 billion envelope of net asset purchases was added from March to December 2020)
  • €40 billion of net purchases in April 2022
  • €30 billion of net purchases in May 2022
  • €20 billion of net purchases in June 2022
  • No net purchases, only reinvestments of redemptions, as of July 2022

Monthly APP

Note: The average monthly APP targets were first set by the ECB Governing Council at the beginning of the PSPP in March 2015. The additional envelope of €120 billion decided by the Governing Council on 12 March 2020 has been linearised for illustration in this chart, while it will be implemented in full according to the established principles with additional flexibility.

On 9 June 2022 the Governing Council decided to discontinue net asset purchases under the APP as of 1 July 2022. Reinvestments of the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the programmes will continue, in full, for an extended period of time past the date on which the Governing Council starts to raise the key ECB interest rates, and in any case, for as long as necessary to maintain ample liquidity conditions and an appropriate monetary policy stance.

The table presents the Eurosystem holdings at the end of the month and a breakdown in the change of Eurosystem holdings.

Eurosystem holdings under the asset purchase programme
Changes of holdings (previous month) ABSPP CBPP3 CSPP PSPP APP
Holdings* in April 2022 26,603 296,924 336,066 2,558,848 3,218,441
Monthly net purchases -823 3,247 5,366 22,443 30,233
Quarter-end amortisation adjustment and redemptions of coupon STRIPS
Holdings* in May 2022 25,780 300,171 341,432 2,581,291 3,248,674
*At amortised cost, in EUR millions, at month-end. Figures may not add up due to rounding. Figures are preliminary and may be subject to revision.

Amortisation adjustment are made at the end of each quarter. The amortisation emerges from an accounting principle that implies that securities purchased at prices below face value have to be revalued upwards over time towards maturity, and revalued downwards over time, if purchased at prices above face value. STRIPS are accounted for at the end of each month (see Question 2.4 in the Q&A).

Weekly changes are reported below and in the Eurosystem weekly financial statement. Full historical data are available in the Statistics section under Data on daily liquidity conditions.

APP cumulative net purchases, by programme

The stock of Eurosystem APP bonds stood at €3419 billion at the end of May 2022. The cumulative net purchases are illustrated below.

Eurosystem cumulative net asset purchases from 2015-2018, broken down by purchase programme type. Reinvestments from 2019.

APP redemptions

The Eurosystem adheres to the principle of market neutrality via smooth and flexible implementation. To this end, the Governing Council decided to distribute the reinvestment of principal redemptions through time to allow for a regular and balanced market presence.

The table presents estimated monthly redemptions for the next 12 months.

Expected monthly redemption amounts for the APP over a rolling 12-month horizon (in EUR millions)
month ABSPP CBPP3 CSPP PSPP APP
May 22 1,697 1,866 1,502 18,779 23,843
Jun 22 1,011 1,582 1,491 12,638 16,722
Jul 22 991 1,629 978 22,415 26,013
Aug 22 521 2,227 96 4,841 7,685
Sep 22 654 6,873 2,684 34,354 44,565
Oct 22 717 1,651 674 33,927 36,969
Nov 22 486 2,167 1,557 14,669 18,879
Dec 22 915 1,485 1,416 12,016 15,832
Jan 23 2,151 4,786 2,902 19,469 29,308
Feb 23 688 5,957 2,158 13,656 22,459
Mar 23 672 5,631 4,101 32,033 42,437
Apr 23 1,239 2,917 2,361 23,521 30,038
May 23 812 1,872 2,566 30,548 35,798
*Actual redemption, based on month end data. ECB estimates in italics. Figures may not add up due to rounding. Figures are preliminary and may be subject to revision. Note: Realised redemptions may differ from estimated redemptions.

Corporate sector purchase programme

Between 8 June 2016 and 19 December 2018 the Eurosystem conducted net purchases of corporate sector bonds under the corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP). From January to October 2019, the Eurosystem only reinvested the principal payments from maturing securities held in the CSPP portfolio. Purchases of securities under the CSPP were then restarted on 1 November 2019 and continued until the end of June 2022. From July 2022 the Eurosystem is only reinvesting the principal payments from maturing securities.

Securities purchased under the CSPP are made available for securities lending to support market liquidity and collateral availability in the market.

CSPP holdings*
EUR mil. 342,716
Date 17 June 2022
* End of week, at amortised cost
Breakdown of CSPP holdings*
Market: Primary Secondary
EUR millions * 81,465 259,967
Share * 23.86% 76.14%
Date 31 May 2022
* End of month, at amortised cost
Historical lists of securities held under the CSPP
Select date

Public sector purchase programme

The Eurosystem conducted net purchases of public sector securities under the public sector purchase programme (PSPP) between 9 March 2015 and 19 December 2018. From January to October 2019, the Eurosystem only reinvested the principal payments from maturing securities held in the PSPP portfolio. Purchases of securities under the PSPP were then restarted on 1 November 2019 and continued until the end of June 2022. From July 2022 the Eurosystem is only reinvesting the principal payments from maturing securities.

The securities covered by the PSPP include:

  • nominal and inflation-linked central government bonds
  • bonds issued by recognised agencies, regional and local governments, international organisations and multilateral development banks located in the euro area

Since December 2018 government bonds and recognised agencies make up around 90% of the total Eurosystem portfolio, while securities issued by international organisations and multilateral development banks account for around 10%.

Securities purchased under the PSPP are made available for securities lending to support market liquidity and collateral availability in the market.

PSPP holdings*
EUR millions 2,587,062
Date 17 June 2022
* End of week, at amortised cost
Breakdown of debt securities under the PSPP
(EUR millions) Cumulative net purchases as of end December 2021* Monthly net purchases May 2022 Cumulative net purchases as of May 2022* WAM of PSPP portfolio holdings end December 2021** Current WAM of PSPP portfolio holdings** WAM of eligible universe of securities under the PSPP as at end-May 2022**
Austria 72,409 1,167 76,789 7.28 7.31 8.29
Belgium 91,027 1,222 94,131 7.56 7.47 9.76
Cyprus 4,144 -247 4,199 8.77 9.04 8.82
Germany 634,814 10,525 666,481 6.68 6.61 7.98
Estonia 408 9 438 8.44 8.03 8.03
Spain 305,333 -2,407 312,269 7.83 7.99 8.30
Finland 41,170 668 43,170 7.35 7.97 8.90
France 516,032 -1,412 526,667 6.99 6.95 8.70
Ireland 41,029 645 41,978 8.12 8.40 10.11
Italy 429,415 5,488 447,877 7.19 7.13 7.90
Lithuania 5,493 5 5,791 10.72 10.60 10.29
Luxembourg 3,870 38 3,719 5.47 5.71 7.19
Latvia 3,344 90 3,751 10.11 9.42 9.39
Malta 1,362 -8 1,403 11.19 11.39 9.90
Netherlands 126,966 2,147 131,267 7.52 7.67 9.30
Portugal 51,035 708 54,508 7.49 7.44 7.80
Slovenia 10,349 123 10,694 9.71 9.70 9.80
Slovakia 17,034 222 18,022 8.28 8.08 8.74
Supranationals 275,874 3,461 287,194 8.04 8.18 9.44
Total 2,631,107 22,443 2,730,346 7.28 7.29 8.47
* Cumulative monthly net purchases figures represent the difference between the acquisition cost of all purchase operations and the redeemed nominal amounts. ** Remaining weighted average maturity (WAM) in years. Notes: Figures may not add up due to rounding. Figures are preliminary and may be subject to revision. The monthly purchase volumes are reported on a settlement basis and net of redemptions. The Eurosystem will continue to adhere to the principle of market neutrality via smooth and flexible implementation. To this end, the reinvestment of principal redemptions will be distributed over the year to allow for a regular and balanced market presence (see press release on technical parameters for the reinvestment). When assessing the remaining WAM of Eurosystem holdings relative to a market measure, deviations could reflect, inter alia, the 1 to 30 year maturity range of purchases; the issue share limits taking into account holdings in other Eurosystem portfolios; as well as the availability and liquidity conditions in the market during the implementation period; and the impact of portfolio redemptions and their respective reinvestments.

Asset-backed securities purchase programme

Between 21 November 2014 and 19 December 2018 the Eurosystem conducted net purchases of asset-backed securities under the asset-backed securities purchase programme (ABSPP). From January to October 2019, the Eurosystem only reinvested the principal payments from maturing securities held in the ABSPP portfolio. Purchases of securities under the ABSPP were restarted on 1 November 2019 and continued until the end of June 2022. From July 2022 the Eurosystem is only reinvesting the principal payments from maturing securities.

ABSPP holdings*
EUR mil. 25,984
Date 17 June 2022
* End of week, at amortised cost
Breakdown of ABSPP holdings*
Market: Primary Secondary
EUR millions * 18,561 7,219
Share * 72.00% 28.00%
Date 31 May 2022
* End of month, at amortised cost

Covered bond purchase programme 3

Between 20 October 2014 and 19 December 2018 the Eurosystem conducted net purchases of covered bonds under a third covered bond purchase programme (CBPP3). From January to October 2019, the Eurosystem only reinvested the principal payments from maturing securities held in the CBPP3 portfolio. Purchases of securities under the CBPP3 were restarted on 1 November 2019 and continued until the end of June 2022. From July 2022 the Eurosystem is only reinvesting the principal payments from maturing securities.

Securities purchased under the covered bond purchase programmes (CBPP1, CBPP2 and CBPP3) are made available for securities lending by a number of Eurosystem central banks.

CBPP3 holdings*
EUR mil. 301,052
Date 17 June 2022
* End of week, at amortised cost
Breakdown of CBPP3 holdings*
Market: Primary Secondary
EUR millions * 114,207 185,964
Share * 38.05% 61.95%
Date 31 May 2022
* End of month, at amortised cost

Terminated programmes

Securities Markets Programme

On 10 May 2010, the central banks of the Eurosystem started purchasing securities in the context of the Securities Markets Programme (SMP), with a view to addressing the severe tensions in certain market segments which had been hampering the monetary policy transmission mechanism. Following a Governing Council decision on 6 September 2012 to initiate outright monetary transactions, the SMP was terminated. The existing securities in the SMP portfolio will be held to maturity. For details see the press release: Technical features of Outright Monetary Transactions; as well as ECB decision of 14 May 2010 ECB/2010/5 and the press release of 10 May 2010: ECB decides on measures to address severe tensions in financial markets.

With a view to leaving liquidity conditions unaffected by the programme, the Eurosystem re-absorbed the liquidity provided through the SMP by means of weekly liquidity-absorbing operations until June 2014. On 5 June 2014, the ECB suspended the weekly fine-tuning operations sterilising the liquidity injected by the programme and the last operation was allotted on 10 June 2014.

SMP holdings*
EUR mil. 3,349
Date 17 June 2022
* at amortised cost
Total Eurosystem SMP holdings by issuer as at 31 December 2021
Issuer country Nominal amount (EUR billions) Book value* (EUR billions) Average remaining maturity (years)
Ireland 0.6 0.6 3.2
Greece 2.3 2.2 2.6
Spain 0.1 0.1 0.1
Italy 3.2 3.1 0.2
Portugal 0.5 0.5 1.8
Total** 6.7 6.5 1.4
* SMP holdings are valued at amortised cost. ** Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Covered bond purchase programme

CBPP holdings*
EUR mil. 14
Date 17 June 2022
* at amortised cost

On 2 July 2009, the Eurosystem launched its first covered bond purchase programme (CBPP1). The programme ended, as planned, on 30 June 2010 when it reached a nominal amount of €60 billion. The Eurosystem intends to hold the assets bought under this programme until maturity.

For details, see ECB decision of 2 July 2009 ( ECB/2009/16 ) as well as the press releases Purchase programme for covered bonds (4 June 2009) and Covered bond purchase programme completed (30 June 2010).

Covered bond purchase programme 2

CBPP2 holdings*
EUR mil. 232
Date 17 June 2022
* at amortised cost

In November 2011, the Eurosystem launched a second covered bond purchase programme (CBPP2). The programme ended, as planned, on 31 October 2012 when it reached a nominal amount of €16.4 billion. The Eurosystem intends to hold the assets bought under this programme until maturity.

Breakdown of CBPP2 holdings*
Market Primary Secondary
EUR mil. * 6,015 10,375
Share * 36.70% 63.30%
Date 31 October 2012
* at amortised cost

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