ABS drive


ECB: More questions than answers

MADRID | The Corner | The ECB disappointed all those who were keen to gain more concrete information on how it wants to expand its balance sheet over the coming months. Instead, Mr Draghi pointed out that inflation expectations, not balance sheet size, remain the ultimate yardstick of current and future ECB action. “We think this is the right communications strategy as we had become concerned that the ECB would set fairly explicit balance sheet targets that it might struggle to attain. The ECB offered a more cautious assessment of the growth and inflation outlook and left the door open for additional unconventional measures. Nevertheless, our base case scenario remains that sovereign QE will not be triggered,” UBS analysts commented.

No Picture

ABS drive, to the point

MADRID | The Corner | Mario Draghi will finally reveal the details of the private debt purchases program on Thursday. Markets take for granted that he will continue feeding expectations that he is willing to do more if necessary. The ECB’s President is however not likely to announce the acquisition of retained ABS, nor to include the so-called mezzanine tranches. As for the rumours about Mr Draghi pushing the ECB to eventually buy bundles of Greek and Cypriot bank loans with “junk” ratings, our readers should note that those tranches would be senior, and in very small amounts. However, “symbolically is an important issue about what they are willing to do,” JPMorgan analysts pointed out on Wednesday.