The European Central Bank (ECB) has earmarked 123.636 billion euros for net acquisitions of Spanish sovereign debt through its different asset purchase programmes since March 2020, when the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe. This includes 89.846 billion euros in emergency pandemic purchases (PEPP) and another 33.790 billion through the PSPP sovereign debt purchase programme, according to the institution’s data.
The yield demanded in the secondary market on the Spanish ten-year bond reflects the impact of the ECB’s intervention. Although it stood at 0.299% in the first few days of March, by the 18th of that month it had climbed to 1.384%, just hours before the central bank announced its new PEPP programme. This reduced the cost of financing for euro countries which, in Spain’s case, is currently below 0.1% for its ten-year debt.
Since the launch of the emergency programme at end-March 2020, the ECB has accumulated 89.846 billion euros in Spanish debt, compared to 188.751 billion in German debt and 136.310 billion in Italian debt. Meanwhile, it has acquired a total of 133.594 billion euros in French sovereign debt.
In total, the ECB holds 806.756 billion euros in assets acquired under the PEPP. This includes 764.710 billion euros in government bonds, in addition to 22.315 billion in corporate bonds, 16.611 billion in promissory notes and a further 3.120 billion in covered bonds.
However, in addition to this emergency and specific ECB programme to combat the impact of the pandemic on the Eurozone economy, the institution has maintained its activity in the markets through the rest of its asset purchase programmes. This includes the acquisition of sovereign debt (PSPP) and corporate debt (CSPP), as well as covered bonds (CBPP3) and securitizations (ABSPP).