The Euro Commercial Paper Programme (ECP) of the Treasury is a short-term financing instrument. ECPs are issued on tap and so make it possible to meet investors’ demand. They can be issued on a continuous basis with maturities between 3 days and 1 year. Consequently, they represent the most flexible financing instrument to cover unexpected expenses of the State. Furthermore, they can be issued in foreign currencies for which the ECB publishes reference rates on a daily basis. Thus, they also contribute to enlarge the investor basis.
The purpose of issuing ECPs is twofold:
- to cover short-term funding requirements denominated in EUR or in foreign currencies;
- furthermore, ECPs in EUR can be issued to cover cash deficits after the issuance of Treasury certificates.
The legal, fiscal and technical features of the ECP programme of the Kingdom of Belgium are comparable with those of Treasury Certificates (TCs) which are the most important financing instrument in the short-term segment. But unlike ECPs, TCs are a standardized financial instrument only issued in EUR via auctions at fixed dates and with standardized maturities.
- short- term securities (usually issued with tenors ranging from 3 days week till 1 year);
- issued in EUR or foreign currencies for which the ECB publishes reference rates against the EUR on a daily basis;
- issued on tap – broken dates are possible on request;
- placed by a limited number of dealers (see list);
- issued with the NBB which is issuing and paying agent;
- dematerialised securities that can be held in the securities settlement system of the NBB to which CLEARSTREAM and EUROCLEAR have access;
- discounted paper and will be redeemed at par;
- characterized by market conventions related to the currency of issuance;
- characterized by a minimum issuance amount: equiv. of 250 000 EUR;
- characterized by an unlimited outstanding amount;
- governed by Belgian Law.
WHO SHOULD INVEST IN ECPs?
ECPs are mainly designed for professional investors.