ECB launches € 750 billion emergency bond purchase program

FRANKFURT, Mar 18 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank announced on Wednesday that it has launched an emergency bond purchase program of 750 billion euros ($ 818 billion) to reduce the cost of borrowing in a bloc that fights against economic consequences of coronavirus.

“The purchases will run through the end of 2020 and will include all eligible asset categories under the existing asset purchase program,” the ECB said in a statement after an emergency meeting late on Wednesday.

The scheme will also include debt from Greece, which has so far been excluded from ECB bond purchases due to its low credit rating.

The program, which will end when the “crisis phase” of the epidemic ends, will also include non-financial commercial papers with sufficient credit quality, the ECB said.

(1 dollar = 0.9169 euros)

(Report by Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa. Edited in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)