ECB has asset purchases available but other options easier -Mersch

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 | 8:20 AM ET

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The ECB has the option to buy assets outright if needed but because there is no joint euro zone bond to buy it means other instruments are easier to use, Executive Board member Yves Mersch said on Friday.

ECB economics chief Peter Praet became the first of its top policymakers to openly talk about full blown asset buying this week, but speaking at an event in London his colleague Mersch underscored the difficulties that would be involved.

"In our mandate it says we can do asset purchases... but Europe is a little bit different in so far that we do not have a single sovereign signature," Mersch said, adding the ECB also had to option to keep flooding the euro zone with cheap liquidity if necessary.