ECB made €7.8bn profits from Greek bond holdings
by Mehreen Khan
October 10, 2017
The European Central Bank has made nearly €8bn in profits from its holdings of Greek government debt.
In a written response to a request from a Greek MEP, the ECB said holdings of Greek sovereign bonds acquired under its Securities and Markets bond-buying programme (SMP) had resulted in €7.8bn of net income interest between 2012-2016. These profits – as with others made from national bond holdings – are then redistributed to across all 19-country central banks in the eurozone. The SMP programme was launched at the start of the eurozone’s debt crisis in 2010 and ramped up to include Italian and Spanish government debt in 2011. It was designed to ease market pressure on the borrowing costs of the eurozone’s member states and preceded the central bank’s more ambitious quantitative easing programme, which launched in 2015.