Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Central Banks Load Up on Equities as Low Rates Kill Yields"

First they buy up all the safe assets. Then they start buying into an already shrinking pool of stocks (Equities: The Wilshire 5000 is Down to 3687 Stocks) then...
I'm not sure I like where this is going.
From Bloomberg:
Central banks, guardians of the world’s $11 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves, are buying stocks in record amounts as falling bond yields push even risk- averse investors toward equities.

In a survey of 60 central bankers this month by Central Banking Publications and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, 23 percent said they own shares or plan to buy them. The Bank of Japan, holder of the second-biggest reserves, said April 4 it will more than double investments in equity exchange-traded funds to 3.5 trillion yen ($35.2 billion) by 2014. The Bank of Israel bought stocks for the first time last year while the Swiss National Bank and the Czech National Bank have boosted their holdings to at least 10 percent of reserves.

“In the last year or so, I have spoken with 103 central banks on diversification,” Gary Smith, London-based global head of official institutions at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, which oversees about $649 billion, said in a phone interview. “If reserves are growing, so are diversification pressures. Equities are not for every bank tomorrow, but more are continuing down this path.”...MORE
HT: naked capitalism

See also FT Alphaville's "When stimulus becomes stealth nationalisation" and our "Oy: Israel's Central Bank to Intervene as Natural Gas Boom Inflates the Shekel" and 2008's "Doom and Gloom: What Can the Federal Reserve Do?"