ETF Securities Research Blog

Infrastructure and utility sectors to benefit most from ECB’s programme

Infrastructure and utility sector corporate bonds likely to benefit the most from the ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP). The programme will also be particularly supportive for corporate bonds issues from the euro area core. The ECB’s support to larger firms will likely have a positive impact on growth and employment figures.

As widely expected, the ECB left policy rates and the amount of the monthly purchases (EUR80bn) unchanged at its June meeting. But, Mr Draghi announced that the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP) will start on June 8 and that the first operation of TLTRO2 will be conducted on June 22. So far, we know that the CSPP – part of the broad EUR80bn monthly purchase – will include corporate bonds with a maturity from 6 months to 30 years and with a minimum rating of BBB-. Also, national central banks will buy on behalf of the ECB up to 70% of any individual bond.

More importantly, Mr Draghi stressed the need for countries to focus on rising productivity and improving business environment, by enhancing public infrastructure and as per Juncker’s “Investment Plan for Europe” announced in November 2014. We believe the CSPP is a genuine way to deepen and integrate capital markets in the euro area, which was one of the main challenges addressed by the Juncker’s plan for a Capital Market Union (CMU). Overall, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which rely on banks for 80% of their financing, have benefited most from the ECB’s programmes so far. By including Investment Grade euro-denominated bonds issued by non-financial corporates (NFCs) established in the euro area in the list of assets that are eligible for regular purchases, the ECB is now enlarging its programme to also support larger firms with potential larger impact on growth and employment figures. We believe the start of the CSPP next Wednesday will likely be most beneficial to European infrastructure and utilities corporate bonds. The Infrastructure and Utility sectors together represent the largest proportion of the bonds eligible for the CSPP, according to our estimates (up to 55%). Furthermore they  appear to be the sectors targeted to increase the growth potential in the euro area.

1

We expect bonds issued from the core – namely Germany, France and Netherlands – to outperform bonds issues from the peripherals since the core countries catch 70% of the bonds eligible to the CSPP.

3