Author Topic: Asahi Life to focus on domestic bonds  (Read 1574 times)

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Asahi Life to focus on domestic bonds
« on: October 26, 2012, 05:47:43 PM »
Thursday October 25, 2012 The Star

TOKYO: Asahi Mutual Life Insurance plans to focus on investing in domestic bonds while continuing to cut Japanese stock holdings in the six months to March 2013, as it aims for stable portfolio management, a senior official said.
 
Asahi Life plans to boost its domestic bond investment by 180 billion yen (US$2.3bil) in the October-March second half after raising such holdings by 10 billion yen in the first half to Sept 30. It plans to further curb investment in Japanese stocks after reducing it by 60 billion yen in April-September.
 
“We maintain our investment strategy aiming at a stable portfolio to secure income,” Takahiro Ono, Asahi's chief portfolio manager, said in an interview.
 
“We plan to primarily allocate funds to domestic bonds, given uncertain global circumstances,” he said, noting the sluggish Japanese economy, persistent concerns about the eurozone debt crisis and worries about a slowdown in Chinese growth.
 
Of Asahi's domestic bond holdings, 80% is in Japanese government bonds and the rest in corporate bonds and others.
 
“Our pace of domestic bond buying slowed in the first half because of falling yields, but we basically hope to boost yen bond buying when domestic interest rates gradually edge higher,” Ono said, adding that a 10-year JGB yield around 0.9% would represent a buying opportunity.
 
Benchmark 10-year JGB yields declined from around 1% at the start of the fiscal year in April to around 0.77% at the end of fiscal half on Sept 30. Ono expects the 10-year JGB yield to trade between 0.7% and 1% through the end of March.
 
The sixth-ranked Japanese life insurer, which kept its foreign bond holdings fully hedged, planned to shrink such holdings by 60 billion yen in the second half, Ono said. - Reuters
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