Eurozone equity investors are rejoicing in response to the European Central Bank’s aggressive quantitative easing program. However, the Greece exchange traded fund has been left wanting and won’t fully capitalize on QE until the government puts its house in order.
The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GREK) underperformed the broader European markets, dipping 1.4% Thursday. GREK has declined 6.0% year-to-date and plunged 43.9% over the past year.
On Thursday, the ECB announced it will implement a €1 trillion, or $1.14 trillion, bond purchasing program in monthly installments of €60 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The ECB will acquire assets including government bonds, debt securities issued by European institutions and private sector bonds. Additionally, the central bank said that government bonds will be mostly excluded from potential loss sharing. Critics have pointed out that separating credit risks along national boundaries could undermine the principle of a single monetary policy for the entire Eurozone.
However, the ECB has set limits that will exclude Greece for at least six months as the Greek government holds elections and tackles ongoing debt problems, Bloomberg reports.
Greece is currently undergoing a bout of political volatility, with Alexis Tsipras, whose Syriza party is leading Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy in polls after pledging to enact substantial concessions from the “troika” of creditors. The country is still needs to review its current bailout responsibilities. [Greek Drama: Greece ETF Slides as Election Nears]
Consequently, ECB President Mario Draghi has placed a limit on how much debt the central bank can hold from a single issuer to limit its credit risk.