Purchases of corporate bonds during the coronavirus pandemic

From 14 September 2020 until the end of December 2022, the Riksbank purchased corporate bonds for SEK 15.5 billion. These purchases were part of the Riksbank's asset purchases totalling SEK 700 billion to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the Swedish economy.

The purpose of the purchases was to keep general interest rates low and contribute to the functioning of the credit supply in the corporate bond market. During 2022, the purchases were aimed at compensating for the maturing corporate bonds in the Riksbank's portfolio. The Riksbank ended the purchases of corporate bonds in December 2022.

The Riksbank purchased corporate bonds issued in Swedish kronor by Swedish non-financial corporations with a credit rating equivalent to Baa3/BBB- or higher and with a remaining maturity of up to five years. From 1 January 2021, the Riksbank only purchased bonds issued by companies deemed to meet international sustainability standards and norms. In September 2022, the Riksbank introduced an additional requirement whereby the Riksbank only purchased bonds from companies that reported both their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.

The Riksbank endeavoured to purchase commercial paper with a wide range of issuers and maturities to ensure that purchases were carried out in an impartial manner and with a broad impact on interest rates. The Riksbank's purchases were limited to a maximum of 50 per cent of an individual issuer's total outstanding volume of corporate bonds, or an individual bond issue at the respective point in time, in Swedish kronor.

More detailed information on the corporate bond purchases can be found in the document under “Related content” below.

Purchases of corporate bonds

The Riksbank's total purchases of corporate bonds are presented below. From September 2020 to 31 December 2022, the Riksbank purchased corporate bonds for a nominal amount of SEK 15.5 billion. 

The Riksbank's total purchases of corporate bonds

Figure: The Riksbank's total purchases of corporate bonds

The figure shows the Riksbank's monthly purchases of corporate bonds during the period September 2020 to the end of December 2022. The amounts shown are in SEK million. Download the data from the chart by clicking on the arrow to the right, above the chart.
Source: Sveriges Riksbank.

The Riksbank’s total holdings of securities

The page Securities holdings in SEK shows the Riksbank’s total holdings of securities.

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Updated 03/06/2024