BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank has no concrete plans to buy corporate bonds, but this could be a way to prevent the bank from paying too much for just covered bonds and asset backed securities, ECB governing council member Luc Coene told Belgian media.
The ECB began buying covered bonds on Monday, part of the private-sector asset-purchase programme that will also see it buy ABS later this year.
“We still haven’t had a serious discussion about the purchase of corporate bonds,” Coene, who is governor of the Belgian central bank, told business dailies L’Echo and De Tijd.
“If we limit ourselves to buying covered bonds and asset backed securities there is a risk that we would pay too high a price. We can prevent that by also buying corporate bonds,” Coene added. “But there is no concrete proposal for that on the table.”
On Tuesday sources told Reuters that the ECB was considering buying corporate bonds on the secondary market and may decide on the matter as soon as December.
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop