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Asset purchase programmes

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

As in previous years, the Eurosystem will temporarily pause APP and PEPP purchases (reinvestments) in anticipation of significantly lower market liquidity towards the end of the year. The last trading day before Christmas will be Tuesday, 20 December 2022, and purchases will resume on Monday, 2 January 2023.

While the Eurosystem's securities lending facilities will remain operational on all business days throughout December, the lists of securities held under the APP and PEPP will not be updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2022 or Tuesday, 3 January 2023.

To ensure consistency with the publication of the Weekly Financial Statement of the Eurosystem (including the quarterly revaluation adjustments), the first weekly and monthly publication of APP and PEPP data in 2023 will take place on Wednesday, 4 January 2023 at 15:00 CET.

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.

Source: ECB

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 September 2022 23,594 300,157 344,388 2,588,118 3,256,256
Monthly net purchases 254 2,229 139 -2,938 -316
Quarter-end amortisation adjustment and redemptions of coupon STRIPS
Holdings* in October 2022 23,849 302,385 344,527 2,585,180 3,255,940
*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 €3434 billion at the end of October 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

When reinvesting APP redemptions, the Eurosystem in general adheres to the principle of market neutrality via a smooth and flexible implementation. More specifically, for corporate bond reinvestments, from October 2022 the Eurosystem tilts these purchases towards issuers with better climate performance.

To allow for a regular and balanced market presence the Governing Council decided to distribute the reinvestment of principal redemptions through time.

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
Oct 22 712 1,651 1,089 33,927 37,378
Nov 22 489 2,167 1,031 14,669 18,356
Dec 22 885 1,487 1,243 12,016 15,631
Jan 23 2,133 4,786 2,784 19,469 29,172
Feb 23 706 6,050 2,182 13,624 22,561
Mar 23 665 5,631 4,219 31,965 42,480
Apr 23 1,220 2,937 2,388 23,712 30,256
May 23 798 1,874 2,579 30,554 35,805
Jun 23 549 3,112 2,557 16,619 22,837
Jul 23 501 1,170 3,033 26,317 31,022
Aug 23 392 0 986 16,445 17,824
Sep 23 1,102 3,346 3,358 13,272 21,079
Oct 23 877 4,465 2,606 44,745 52,693
*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.

As announced in July 2022, the Eurosystem aims to gradually decarbonise its corporate bond holdings, on a path aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. To that end, the Eurosystem will tilt these purchases towards issuers with better climate performance through the reinvestment of the sizeable redemptions expected over the coming years.

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. 345,101
Date 25 November 2022
* End of week, at amortised cost
Breakdown of CSPP holdings*
Market: Primary Secondary
EUR millions * 81,201 263,326
Share * 23.57% 76.43%
Date 31 October 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 2,585,802
Date 25 November 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 October 2022 Cumulative net purchases as of October 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-October 2022**
Austria 72,409 892 77,742 7.28 7.25 8.51
Belgium 91,027 785 93,770 7.56 7.38 10.53
Cyprus 4,144 54 4,452 8.77 8.47 9.00
Germany 634,814 3,176 665,502 6.68 6.74 8.01
Estonia 408 42 488 8.44 7.82 8.54
Spain 305,333 -3,634 315,038 7.83 7.79 8.15
Finland 41,170 545 43,825 7.35 8.15 8.92
France 516,032 -5,558 531,880 6.99 6.80 8.69
Ireland 41,029 -1,106 42,476 8.12 8.43 10.34
Italy 429,415 5,505 448,664 7.19 7.14 7.93
Lithuania 5,493 49 5,964 10.72 10.22 9.81
Luxembourg 3,870 12 3,913 5.47 5.73 7.66
Latvia 3,344 16 3,878 10.11 8.81 8.56
Malta 1,362 6 1,423 11.19 11.13 9.55
Netherlands 126,966 1,276 132,873 7.52 7.75 9.47
Portugal 51,035 -2,314 53,609 7.49 7.53 7.90
Slovenia 10,349 73 11,125 9.71 9.37 9.44
Slovakia 17,034 76 18,494 8.28 7.87 8.40
Supranationals 275,874 -2,833 285,655 8.04 8.22 9.45
Total 2,631,107 -2,938 2,740,773 7.28 7.28 8.52
* 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. 23,931
Date 25 November 2022
* End of week, at amortised cost
Breakdown of ABSPP holdings*
Market: Primary Secondary
EUR millions * 18,607 5,242
Share * 78.02% 21.98%
Date 31 October 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. 303,110
Date 25 November 2022
* End of week, at amortised cost
Breakdown of CBPP3 holdings*
Market: Primary Secondary
EUR millions * 116,518 185,867
Share * 38.53% 61.47%
Date 31 October 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. 2,845
Date 25 November 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. 0
Date 25 November 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. 0
Date 25 November 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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