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French, German firms dominated ECB corporate bond purchases

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French, German firms dominated ECB corporate bond purchases

European Central Bank data shows debt issued by French and German companies constituted the majority of its purchases of corporate bonds, Reuters reported Oct. 6.

Corporate debt from Germany and Frances makes up a combined 54% of the €114.7 billion in corporate bonds bought by the ECB since June 2016, in its attempts to lower borrowing costs and encourage economic activity.

Corporate bonds overall will make up a larger percentage of the ECB's purchases in 2018 when the central bank starts to reduce its holdings of government debt, Reuters reported.

The data showed the ECB was pursuing its plan to buy bonds in proportion to the outstanding debt of eurozone-based firms that are rated investment grade and are not banks, the newswire added.

The ECB will now update its data twice a year. It is also expected to announce that it will reduce its €60 billion monthly purchases, taking into account higher inflation and stronger economic growth in the eurozone.