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UPDATE 1-ECB will do more if planned bond buying not enough-Coeure
February 2, 2015 / 11:37 AM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-ECB will do more if planned bond buying not enough-Coeure

* Coeure says ECB ready to do more on QE programme if needed

* ECB’s Nowotny expects first signs of QE impact in summer

* Neither goes into detail on situation in Greece (Adds quotes from Coeure, Nowotny)

BUDAPEST, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank will reassess its bond-buying programme before it ends in 2016 and if necessary will do more to lift inflation toward the bank’s target, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Monday.

”We intend to buy bonds until September 2016, which is 19 months, which is in total 1,140 billion euros ... “ Coeure told reporters on the sidelines of a central banking conference in Budapest. ”We have also said this will be done until we see a sustained convergence towards our definition of price stability.

“Yes, it is an open-ended programme. It will be reassessed when we come closer to September 2016, and if this aim of achieving sustained convergence towards 2 percent (inflation) in the medium term is not reached, we will do more.”

The ECB announced its bond-buying programme last month, saying it would buy 60 billion euros ($68.05 billion) of assets a month to spur a flagging economy and keep consumer prices from falling.

“We do not expect an immediate impact. That is why we intend to do it over 19 months,” Coeure said, adding the programme’s effectiveness also depended on structural reforms in EU countries.

Fellow ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny also said it would take time to see what impact asset purchases were having.

“We start this new programme March 1, and it’s very difficult to foresee, but I think til summer we should get the first indications, because the first things to be looked at will be the volume of bonds offered to the ECB either by the banks or by other investors,” he told reporters at the conference.

Neither central banker wanted to go into detail about the situation in Greece. The Greek government elected in January is pushing a sceptical EU to accept a new debt agreement while Greece rolls back austerity measures imposed under its existing bailout agreement.

Coeure said a political dialogue was under way between the new government and its European partners.

Nowotny declined comment on extending emergency liquidity funding for Greek banks. “This is something where we have very close interlinkages with political events and we will follow our rules,” he said. ($1 = 0.8818 euros) (Reporting by Jan Lopatka, Gergely Szakacs and Krisztina Than; Editing by Larry King)

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