"This is quite complex package of measures," Draghi told assembled journalists at his regular press conference in September.
"The purpose is very different from previous programs... the aim is to increase the measures that produce credit-easing… and also to significantly stir the size of our balance sheet towards the dimensions it used to have at the beginning of 2012."
ABS refers to securities whose value is securitized by the income from a pool of underlying assets, which can include commercial or residential mortgages, credit card debts or car loans. Securitization became increasingly popular from the 1980s onwards, but its reputation was heavily tarnished by the U.S. subprime crisis of 2007, when major banks collapsed after loading up on securities backed by mortgages which then defaulted in large volumes.
Since then the market has struggled to recover, particularly in Europe. Outstanding securitized issues stood at 1.4 trillion euros ($1.8 trillion) across the European Union at the end of 2013, down from a peak of 2 trillion euros between 2008 and 2011. Public issuance volumes remain very low, with many deals retained by the originating banks.
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How the ECB's asset-buying program will impact the market depends on the details—which will not be revealed until October 2.
"At face value, the fact that ECB is saying it will buy ABS is positive, as people took a very negative view of securitization after the global financial crisis," Alexander Batchvarov, head of international structured credit research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told CNBC.
"But we don't know exactly what they are going to buy, we don't know from what countries and we don't know over what period of time—if the ECB buys assets over three years that's a completely different thing to if it buys over the course of a year."
Preliminary estimates suggest the central bank will announce that it will purchase a combined total of 500 billion euros ($646 billion) of ABS and covered bonds in the primary and secondary euro zone markets.
Bank of America forecast that the "simple and transparent" ABS that will be purchased is likely to include prime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), consumer ABS, automobile ABS and ABS from small and medium-sized enterprises.
"We expect a continued near-term rally in what the market deems to be 'simple and transparent' ABS, and a longer term outperformance in the sectors which do not fall into that category from the euro zone," said Batchvarov in a research note this month.