Japan's Asahi Life plans to up foreign bond holdings to 150 bln yen
* Asahi to diversify foreign bonds to euro, Aussie dollar,
* Asahi does not exclude foreign bonds without hedging
* Asahi to up investment in alternative products through
By Ayai Tomisawa and Shinji Kitamura
TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) - Japan's Asahi Mutual Life
Insurance Co plans to increase its foreign bond investment by
150 billion yen and cut its Japanese bonds investment for this
fiscal year amid a low-yield domestic environment, a senior
company executive said on Tuesday.
"The domestic yield will probably continue to stay low this
year, so we will continue diversifying our investments in
foreign bonds and alternative products just like last fiscal
year," Masataka Matsumoto, head of the asset allocation and
planning department at Asahi Life, told Reuters in an interview.
The insurer will also invest 80 billion yen ($715.12 million)
in alternative products such as private equity deals and
infrastructure funds through Natixis Investment Managers based
Of the 150 billion yen in foreign bonds that Asahi plans to
invest this fiscal year through March 2020, it will diversify
currencies and regions to euro-denominated bonds, Australian
dollar-denominated bonds, New Zealand and Swedish bonds.
Its investment will include government bonds,
government-affilated agency bonds and bonds issued by
international organisations, Matsumoto said.
As of the end of March, its U.S. bond holdings accounted for
about 50 percent of its foreign bond investment category,
compared to near 80 percent a year ago.
In the last fiscal year ended March, Asahi invested 100
billion yen in foreign bonds, with 120 billion yen being hedged
and 20 billion yen without being hedged.
For this fiscal year, depending on market conditions it has
not excluded an option of investing in open foreign bonds, or
bonds without hedging, as hedge costs are rising, said
"Central banks around the world are having dovish monetary
policy, so we can't expect an international yield spread to
widen, therefore there is a risk of the yen to rise," Matsumoto
Meanwhile, for its investment in Japanese bonds, it plans to
cut by 50 billion yen, after slashing its investment by 20
billion yen in this category last fiscal year.
($1 = 111.8700 yen)
(Writing by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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