March 19, 2020 / 9:13 PM / 14 days ago

ECB's Lagarde: ready to increase size of asset purchase programmes amid virus outbreak

(Reuters) - European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday the ECB is ready to increase the size of its asset-purchase programmes by as much and as long as required in the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

"We are fully prepared to increase the size of our asset-purchase programmes and adjust their composition, by as much as necessary and for as long as needed", Lagarde wrote in the Financial Times newspaper on.ft.com/392MnYn.

“We will explore all options and all contingencies to support the economy through this shock”, she wrote, describing the coronavirus pandemic as an unprecedented public health emergency.

The ECB has launched a 750 billion euro ($800.48 billion) emergency bond purchase scheme in a bid to stop a pandemic-induced financial rout from shredding the euro zone’s economy.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler

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