October 30, 2018 / 9:32 AM / 16 days ago

INTERVIEW-Tokio Marine plans to increase U.S. floating rate bond holdings

TOKYO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co Ltd plans to increase its foreign bond holdings, mainly floating rate dollar bonds, senior investment planning officials said on Tuesday.

The firm, which is the main unit of Tokio Marine Holdings , plans to maintain full currency hedging on its foreign debt investment, officials said.

“Comparatively speaking, our focus will be on U.S. floating rate bonds,” Masahiro Tajima, manager of asset allocation at Tokio Marine, told Reuters in an interview.

“Fundamentally, we’re focusing on investing in the United States, and we’ll consider investing in Europe while making sure of the situation regarding Brexit and Italy.”

The company mainly focused on investing in U.S. dollar-denominated credit products such as corporate bonds and loans in the six months to September, officials said.

Most of Japan’s largest private life insurers said in recent weeks they plan to buy more foreign bonds in the second half of the current fiscal year.

But high currency hedging costs have stifled their demand for U.S. Treasuries, while high currency hedging costs have also prompted a move towards unhedged foreign bonds.

Reporting by Daniel Leussink and Shinji Kitamura; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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