BRATISLAVA, Nov 11 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank (ECB) should consider buying European Investment Bank bonds if it eventually decides to go for quantitative easing (QE), Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir said on Tuesday.
Kazimir said the EIB could finance an investment programme through issuing bonds that would then be bought up on secondary markets by the ECB.
“There are heated discussions on whether the ECB should go for full-blown quantitative easing. I’m not a central banker so it is not my role,” Kazimir said at the Tatra Summit Investment Forum. “However, should the ECB vote for QE, I would suggest it could buy bonds of the European Investment Bank.”
The euro zone country’s finance minister said the move could “kill two birds with one stone”, adding that no new institutions would need to be created.
Kazimir also called a Polish proposal to create a 700 billion euro investment fund to help revive the stagnant European economy an interesting idea.
Polish Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek proposed the massive investment fund in September, seeing it as a special-purpose vehicle under the umbrella of the European Investment Bank, the existing EU bank owned by European governments.
Top European policymakers see structural reforms and investment as key methods of boosting European economic growth, at a time when most governments are still trying to consolidate public finances and interest rates are at record lows.
The ECB is pumping more money into the banking system through purchases of private debt and offers of long-term loans. ECB members all stand ready to take more policy action if needed, President Mario Draghi said after the last policy meeting last week. (Reporting by Jason Hovet Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)