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【财经晨读】外国投资者为何增持日本政府债券?(一)


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资管译言第48篇财经晨读
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It looks, at first glance, like the biggest conundrum in global markets. For years foreign investors have consistently increased their holdings of Japanese government debt. Their share of this market, on which yields are minimal or negative thanks to the Bank of Japan’s quantitative easing programme, now stands at more than a tenth.


Conundrum n. 难题;谜语

France has grappled with this conundrum for years. 法国就已经为了这个难题苦恼多年。


乍一看,这像是全球市场中最大的谜题。外国投资者多年来一直增持日本政府债券。他们持有的份额已达到十分之一以上,而由于日本央行的量化宽松政策,日本政府债券的收益率极低,甚至为负值。


How do we explain this counter-current to the tide of de-globalisation, this enthusiasm for what must objectively be seen as one of the world’s least attractive government bond markets — especially when resident investors have been investing heavily in foreign assets since the central bank embarked on the latest round of QE in 2013? Surely, you might ask, they cannot both be right?

我们如何解释这种与“去全球化”趋势相反的潮流?特别是考虑到自2013年日本央行开始实施新一轮的量化宽松政策以来,居民投资者大量投资外国资产——客观地说,日本肯定要被视为世界上最不具吸引力的政府债券市场之一。那么,如何解释这种热情?当然,你可能会问,居民和非居民投资者不可能都是对的吧?


In fact, resident and non-resident investors are acting perfectly rationally. If the foreign flow into Japanese government bonds (JGBs) looks perverse it is because it reflects the distorting effects wrought by the divergent monetary policies operated by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan on currency and bond markets as investors search for yield. The behaviour of domestic and foreign investors is intimately linked.

Wrought adj. 锻造的;加工的;精细的

Nuclear weapons have wrought a revolution in international relations. 核武器已经使国际关系发生了变革。

事实上,居民和非居民投资者的行为都是完全理性的。如果外国资金流入日本政府债券看起来有悖常理,那是因为它反映了,随着投资者寻求收益率,美联储和日本央行之间分化的货币政策对外汇和债券市场造成了扭曲效应。国内外投资者的行为密切相关。


The starting point is that Japanese investors’ demand for dollars since 2013 has widened the so-called cross-currency basis in the currency swap market. That is the spread over the US dollar Libor interest rate when a purchase of dollars is funded via the swap market using Japanese yen.

起点是日本投资者自2013年以来对美元的需求,扩大了货币互换市场中所谓的交叉货币基差。这是指当投资者通过掉期市场用日元购买美元时,日元与美元Libor之间的利差。


The Bank of Japan attributes this to three main factors. The first is the divergent monetary policy referred to earlier. With the Fed tightening while the Bank of Japan (and the European Central Bank) have continued to pursue ultra-loose monetary policy there is a natural carry trade whereby yen (or euro) investors can make a profit by investing in higher-yielding US Treasuries. The transaction is hedged through the swaps market.

日本银行将此归因于三大因素。首先是前面提到的分化的货币政策。随着美联储收紧政策,而日本央行和欧洲央行(ECB)继续实行超宽松货币政策,自然会出现套利交易,即日元或欧元投资者通过投资收益率较高的美国国债获利。该交易通过掉期市场进行对冲。


Also important has been the global banks’ reduced appetite for market making and arbitrage because of the tougher post-crisis capital regime. At the same time there has been a decrease in the supply of dollars from foreign reserve managers and sovereign wealth funds against the background of falling commodity prices and depreciating emerging market currencies.

同样重要的是,由于危机后更加严格的资本制度,全球银行对做市和套利的兴趣减弱。与此同时,在大宗商品价格下跌和新兴市场货币贬值的背景下,来自外汇储备管理机构和主权财富基金的美元供应量减少。


To be continued...