FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank (ECB) said on Monday it bought 348 million euros ($393 million) worth of corporate bonds on the first day of including company debt in its extended asset purchase program known as QE or quantitative easing.
The ECB recently decided to expand its QE program, which had previously been restricted to sovereign debt, to include corporate debt as well with the aim of encouraging companies to invest more and help get the eurozone economy back on its feet.
The first corporate bond purchases were effected on June 8 on the so-called secondary market where the bonds had already been issued.
Under the QE program, the ECB plans to purchase up to 80 billion euros of asset per month.
The corporate bond market in Europe is still relatively small and analysts calculate that the ECB would only buy 5.0 billion to 10.0 billion euros of corporate bonds per month.
The ECB has said it will starting publishing next month which bonds it has purchased, but will not reveal the exact amounts of each bond contained in its portfolio.