About 16 pct of Europe's top-rated corporate bonds yield below zero - Tradeweb

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - The amount of euro-denominated investment-grade corporate bonds with negative yields has tripled over the last six weeks, a move accelerated by their inclusion in the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme.

Around 16 percent, or 440 billion euros, of the 2.8 trillion euros of these bonds now yield less than zero, up from around 5 percent at the start of May, according to Tradeweb data.

Negative yields, which have become common in government bond markets, indicate investors are prepared to pay to lend to an increasing number of blue-chip companies.

The ECB started buying corporate bonds last week, and in a single day bought 348 million euros, well exceeding market expectations. (Reporting by John Geddie, editing by Nigel Stephenson)