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(Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank’s 113 billion euro ($133 billion) corporate bond portfolio, accumulated as it propped up the euro zone economy with monthly asset purchases, has swept up debt from companies based outside the currency area.

Bonds issued by non euro area firms account for 71 -- or 7 percent -- of the 1,009 securities bought by the ECB since it started its corporate sector purchase program in June last year, according to ECB data analyzed by Bloomberg.

That includes 33 notes issued by Swiss companies including Nestle SA and Novartis AG, and 24 U.K. bonds sold by companies like Unilever Plc which issued 11 of the bonds in the portfolio. Some of the securities held by the central bank are issued by companies that aren’t European, such as Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co., Paccar Inc. and Schlumberger Ltd from the U.S. who account for 13 bonds.

These bonds are eligible for the CSPP program, in spite of their foreign parentage, because they were sold by entities registered within the currency bloc, such as John Deere Bank SA which is incorporated in Luxembourg. To qualify the debt must also be denominated in euros, mature in more than six months but sooner than 30 years, and yield more than the deposit rate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Cohen in London at pcohen10@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Hannah Benjamin at hbenjamin1@bloomberg.net, Chris Vellacott

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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