About $900 billion of sovereign debt that meets maturity criteria for the European Central Bank’s quantitative-easing plan yields less than its deposit rate, putting the securities out of reach of the program. A 10 basis-point cut to minus 0.4 percent at this week’s meeting, the median estimate of economists, would free up about $478 billion, according to the Bloomberg Eurozone Sovereign Bond Index, with 20 and 30 basis-point cuts bringing another $268 billion and $157 billion into play respectively. The risk is the benefits may be short-lived -- yields have fallen further since the ECB, led by President Mario Draghi, cut its deposit rate in December.

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