Published: 12.08.2016

In July 2016, implementing the public sector purchase programme (PSPP), Latvijas Banka purchased securities issued by the Latvian government and international organisations located in the euro area amounting to 211.3 million euro. Overall, Latvijas Banka has purchased securities totalling 3 341.8 million euro under the PSPP, including securities in the amount of 1 808.4 million euro in 2015.

The amount of the securities bought by Latvijas Banka is reflected in its monthly balance sheet, while information on the execution of the expanded asset purchase programme (APP) in the Eurosystem as a whole is available on the ECB's website. Securities issued by the Latvian government are purchased by Latvijas Banka and the ECB in the secondary market.

The securities purchase programme was launched in March 2015 pursuing the Eurosystem's (comprising the ECB and national central banks of the euro area) objective of keeping medium-term inflation rates below, but close to, 2%. The expanded APP encompasses four programmes: the PSPP, CSPP (corporate sector purchase programme), CBPP3 (the covered bond purchase programme) and ABSPP (the asset-backed securities purchase programme). At its meeting of 10 March 2016, the Governing Council of the ECB took a decision  to extend monetary policy instruments, including the expanded APP. It was decided to supplement the expanded APP with a new subprogramme, i.e. the corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP). Investment-grade euro-denominated bonds issued by non-bank corporations established in the euro area will be purchased under the CSPP. These securities must fulfil the requirements of the securities eligible for Eurosystem's monetary policy operations, including the rating assigned by a credit rating agency which should be no less than BBB- (Baa3). This programme was launched at June 8, 2016.

The duration of the expanded APP is from March 2015 to the end of March 2017 or until the ECB sees a sustained adjustment of the inflation level towards the price stability objective. The target amount of monthly securities purchases under the expanded APP is 60 billion euro but from April 2016 – 80 billion euro.

Taking into account the place of PSPP securities storage, the Eurosystem can offer various lending possibilities of PSPP securities. The international central securities depository Clearstream Banking Luxembourg, where Latvian government securities are stored, ensures the automatic securities lending programme for them.

The Governing Council of the ECB, which is the main decision-making body of the ECB, takes monetary policy decisions of the Eurosystem. It consists of the six members of the Executive Board and the governors of the national central banks (including Latvijas Banka) of the 19 euro area countries. The Governing Council of the ECB takes the decisions necessary for the functioning of the Eurosystem and formulates monetary policy for the euro area. This includes setting monetary objectives and key interest rates, as well as the supply of reserves of the Eurosystem.