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Reserve manager interest in European bonds growing, say bankers By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A photo illustration of euro banknotes from April 25, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

LONDON (Reuters) – Foreign central banks and reserve managers are showing growing interest in new debt issued by the European Union and other pan-European bodies, in a positive sign for the euro’s international role, speakers told a virtual financial conference on Tuesday.

To finance the post-COVID 19 recovery, 800 billion euro ($939 billion), EU bonds are being sold.

Because the fund is temporary, there are no permanent assets across Europe that can rival U.S. Treasuries. This will help boost euro’s status as international reserve currency.

However, bankers and speakers at OMFIF said EU debt sales had been attracting strong demand from central banks and the reserve managers in Asia.

Georges Elhedery (group managing director, co-chief executive of global banking markets at HSBC) said that there has been a lot of interest from Asian investors.

Niall Bohan (director of the European Commission’s budget directorate) said that this type of demand is more important than overall EU bond orders.

Kalin Anev Janse was chief financial officer.

In 2020, the number of Asian investors outside the Euro area was at its highest. “We had investors all around the globe. We also had central banks that were more open to euro. The euro was seen as an alternative to U.S. dollars as a reserve money.” he said.

Anev Janse predicted that Europe’s safe assets would be worth 2 trillion euros over the next few years. This was a decision he described as “pretty appealing to global reserve managers”.

Pablo de Ramon Laca Clausen, the director general for the Spanish Treasury said that the EU recovery fund could be made permanent “if it’s seen as useful”, and added that investors want the euro to grow in strength.

Christian Kopf is Union Investment’s chief investor officer for fixed income, foreign exchange and fixed income. He believes that investors have a positive view of the recovery fund which has led to some reallocation towards some European assets.

($1 = 0.8522 euros)

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