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    ECB Adds 13 State-Backed Company Bonds to Quantitative Easing Program

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    The ECB announced on Thursday it has expanded the list of assets eligible for purchase as part of its quantitative easing program, worth €60 billion [$66.4 billion] a month.

    The European Central has added 13 more borrowers to its list of assets available for purchase as part of its quantitative easing program, intensifying its efforts to increase lending in the Eurozone as the debt crisis in Greece causes markets in Europe to slide. 

    On Thursday 13 new additions, classified as agencies, were made to the list of borrowers in the euro area whose debt can now be bought by the ECB, a move which also allows for the possibility of national central banks adding corporate debt to their own purchase lists.

    The additions are mainly from the infrastructure sector, and include state-owned railway and road company Infraestruturas de Portugal, highway operator Autobahnen- und Schnellstraßen-Finanzierungs-AG of Austria [state-owned] as well as Italian utility company Terna S.p.A — Rete Elettrica Nazionale, of which the Italian government owns less than 30 percent.

    The ECB announced its public sector purchase program in January, which intends to inject around €1.1 trillion [$1.09 trillion] into the Eurozone economy between the beginning of the program in March, and the end of September 2016 by  buying securities with a maturity range of two to 30 years. 

    Announcing the program on January 22 in Frankfurt, ECB head Mario Draghi said the purchases "are intended to be carried out until end September 2016, and will in any case be conducted until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation," and aim to achieve "inflation rates below but close to 2% over the medium term."

    On June 30 Eurostat released its flash estimate of annual inflation in the Eurozone for June. According to the EU's statistical office, Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 0.2% in June 2015, down from 0.3 percent [annualized] in May 2015. 

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    Tags:
    Quantitative easing (QE), Eurostat, The European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, Europe
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