French Bonds Top Draghi's Corporate Shopping List, ABN Amro Says

French corporate bonds top a 710-billion euro ($790 billion) shopping list of debt available for purchase under the European Central Bank’s expanded stimulus program, according to ABN Amro NV.

More than 250 billion euros of French debt will be available under ABN Amro’s best estimate of which bonds the ECB will buy, Hyung-Ja de Zeeuw, an Amsterdam-based senior fixed-income strategist, wrote in a note Monday. German and Italian company debt make up the next largest shares in the calculations, which vary in size according to which selection criteria are used.

The ECB last week announced plans to start buying highly rated euro-denominated non-bank corporate notes as part of wider efforts to boost inflation and investment. It also expanded the overall bond-buying program to 80 billion euros a month from 60 billion euros, and cut interest rates.

By sector, bonds of utility industries dwarf all others, according to ABN Amro. The bank based its calculations on the ECB’s purchase criteria, which stipulate debt must be investment grade, denominated in euros and issued by companies that aren’t owned by banks.

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