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When central banks buy corporate bonds:: Target selection and impact of the European Corporate Sector Purchase Program

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  • R.J. Galema
  • S. Lugo

Abstract

In March 2016 the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the Corporate Sector Purchase Program (CSPP) as part of its expanded asset purchase program. Using hand-collected, weekly lists of bonds purchased and held under the CSPP, we investigate the drivers of the purchase decisions and the impact of the program on the financing decisions of targeted firms. We find that, consistent with the goal of decreasing credit premia while minimizing price distortions, purchases of eligible bonds characterized by both higher credit risk and higher liquidity are more likely and more timely. Bonds issued by firms more likely to face difficulties in tapping the credit market directly are also more likely to be purchased. The CSPP appears effective in alleviating these difficulties. Firms targeted by the program increase their amount of bonds outstanding significantly more than non-targeted eligible issuers; the effect is mostly driven by companies making limited use of market debt before the start of the program. However, no difference is found in the variation of total debt between targeted and non-targeted eligible issuers. Together, these results suggest that the CSPP has favored the substitution of bonds for other forms of debt capital.

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  • R.J. Galema & S. Lugo, 2017. "When central banks buy corporate bonds:: Target selection and impact of the European Corporate Sector Purchase Program," Working Papers 17-16, Utrecht School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1716
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    Cited by:

    1. Taneli Mäkinen & Fan Li & Andrea Mercatanti & Andrea Silvestrini, 2020. "Effects of eligibility for central bank purchases on corporate bond spreads," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1300, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Pelizzon, Loriana & Riedel, Max & Simon, Zorka & Subrahmanyam, Marti G., 2020. "Collateral eligibility of corporate debt in the Eurosystem," SAFE Working Paper Series 275, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    3. Zaghini, Andrea, 2019. "The CSPP at work: Yield heterogeneity and the portfolio rebalancing channel," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 282-297.
    4. Clemens Bonner & Eward Brouwer & Iman van Lelyveld, 2018. "Drivers of market liquidity - Regulation, monetary policy or new players?," DNB Working Papers 605, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Adelino, Manuel & Ferreira, Miguel & Giannetti, Mariassunta & Pires, Pedro, 2020. "Trade Credit and the Transmission of Unconventional Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 14639, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Fan Li & Andrea Mercatanti & Taneli Mäkinen & Andrea Silvestrini, 2019. "A regression discontinuity design for categorical ordered running variables with an application to central bank purchases of corporate bonds," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1213, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. Pegoraro, Stefano & Montagna, Mattia, 2021. "Issuance and valuation of corporate bonds with quantitative easing," Working Paper Series 2520, European Central Bank.

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    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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