The Straits Times
Published on Sep 06, 2012

ECB to buy unlimited volume of bonds under new programme


FRANKFURT (AFP) - The European Central Bank unveiled on Thursday the details of a new programme to purchase an unlimited amount of the sovereign bonds of euro zone countries, but strictly within the bank's policy mandate.

ECB chief Mario Draghi told a news conference the bank would launch a scheme of "Outright Monetary Transactions or OMTs in secondary markets for sovereign bonds in the euro area."

The programme, which would replace a previous much-contested one called SMP, would cover sovereign bonds with maturities of up to three years and would have strict conditions attached to it, Mr Draghi told a news conference here. The bank has set no limit to the volume of bonds it will purchase under the new programme, he added.

"As we said a month ago, we need to be in the position to safeguard the monetary policy transmission mechanism in all countries of the euro area."