Open market operations

Published: 1/1/2023
Open market operations play an important role in the Eurosystem monetary policy in steering interest rates, managing liquidity and signalling monetary policy stance.

Open market operations are initiated by the ECB, which decides on terms and conditions of their implementation and on the instruments that will be used. The CNB implements them with domestic eligible counterparties through tenders (standard/quick) or bilaterally.

Operations are divided into standard and non-standard open market operations.

In terms of regularity and aim, standard operations are divided into four categories:

  • main refinancing operations;
  • longer-term refinancing operations;
  • fine-tuning operations; and
  • structural operations.

In the implementation of standard operations, the Eurosystem uses the following instruments:

  • reverse transactions in the form of collateralised loans or repo transactions;
  • outright transactions (purchase/sale of securities);
  • issuance of ECB debt certificates;
  • collection of fixed-term deposits;
  • foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes.

Non-standard operations comprise longer-term refinancing operations (e.g. TLTROs, PELTROs) and asset purchase programmes (e.g. APP and PEPP).


For more on open market operations see ECB website