ECB Holdings of Peripheral Sovereign Bonds under the SMP

The SMP data have been released – here.  ECB holds euro 14.2 billion of Irish bonds (at face value).

6 replies on “ECB Holdings of Peripheral Sovereign Bonds under the SMP”

Italy at 102b is a bit of an eye opener. Good to see they will make over half a billion from us if they hold on for about four years. Will they give the profits back?


No. The profits go into the ECB surplus, get distributed to the NCBs according to the capital key and the NCBs then remit to their governments. The Irish NCB gives 80% of its surplus annually to the govt.

That is apart from Greece I believe which will get the profit returned directly to its exchequer as part of its latest bailout deal.


Even in the case of Greece, the money is first distributed to the NCBs, who then give it to their governments. These governments then give it to Greece. This was a Eurogroup decision. Structured this way, no mortal sins of monetary financing are being committed.

To give a fuller picture of this

– there are two categories of official sovereign debt holdings – those held by the ECB/NCBs on behalf of the Eurosystem itself (SMP) and those held by individual NCBs for their own account (ANFA)

– there are two ways in which a country can benefit – return of profits (coupons, principal over discounted purchase price) and guaranteed rollover (reduces future capital market issuance needs)

I think there are thus at least 4 different ways Ireland could attempt to gain here from a “deal” on OSI holdings

– return of SMP profits
– rollover of SMP holdings (into OMT, since SMP has been ended)
– return of ANFA profits
– rollover of ANFA holdings

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