Central banks embrace risk buying stocks and bonds in era of low rates

Section:

By Christopher Whittal, Jon Sindreu, and Brian Blackstone
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, January 23, 2017

By keeping interest rates low and in some cases negative, central banks have prompted some of the most conservative investors to join the hunt for higher returns: other central banks.

Central banks from Switzerland to South Africa are investing a bigger share of their growing foreign-exchange reserves in equities, corporate bonds and other riskier assets.

Branching out from the traditional central-bank practice of investing primarily in ultrasafe government bonds such as U.S. Treasurys means taking on more risk. But at a time when global growth, interest rates and potential returns on many assets are low, many central bankers are becoming increasingly focused on maximizing investment returns. ...

At the same time, efforts to invest reserve funds more broadly mean that more markets will be subject to what some critics describe as central-bank distortion, as large and often price-insensitive buyers run the risk of driving up prices and reducing prospective returns for other market participants. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/central-banks-embrace-risk-in-era-of-low-rat...



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