The European Central Bank (ECB) on Wednesday announced a new temporary asset purchase program covering private and public sector securities that has an overall envelope of 750 billion euros (819 billion U.S. dollars) to counter the novel coronavirus risks.
Purchases under this new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) will be conducted until the end of 2020 and will include all asset categories eligible under the existing asset purchase program, the ECB said in a statement following an emergency meeting of its Governing Council.
The program is aimed at countering "the serious risks to the monetary policy transmission mechanism and the outlook for the euro area posed by the outbreak and escalating diffusion of the coronavirus," the ECB said.
The Governing Council will terminate net asset purchases under PEPP once it judges that the coronavirus crisis phase is over, but in any case not before the end of the year, according to the ECB.
Following a regular monetary policy meeting on Thursday, the ECB announced a policy package to support the eurozone economy amid coronavirus shocks, which includes a temporary envelope of net asset purchases of 120 billion euros on top of an existing monthly bond-buying scheme.