Insurance companies continue to decrease holding of Irish bonds

No change in total outstanding government bonds but insurance companies reduce their holdings

Insurance companies have now shed some €342 million in government bond holdings since January of this year according to The Central Bank. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Insurance companies have now shed some €342 million in government bond holdings since January of this year according to The Central Bank. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Wed, Jul 9, 2014, 11:42

Irish resident insurance companies decreased their holding of Irish government bonds by 15 per cent from April to May, new figures from the Central Bank show. Insurance companies have now shed some €342 million in government bond holdings since January of this year.

According to the data, almost 50 per cent of long-term Irish government bonds are held by Irish residents, with credit institutions and the Central Bank of Ireland accounting for 92 per cent of these holdings.

The Irish non-bank financial sector held some € 2,727 million in May, of which 43 per cent was held by other financial intermediaries, and the balance by insurance corporations and pension funds.

Overall, the value of outstanding government bonds remained broadly unchanged in May 2014, standing at € 113,216 million.

When it comes to the duration of bonds, the Central Bank said that approximately 25 per cent of all resident holdings will mature within the next five years, while a further 29 per cent (or € 17.5 billion) of long-term bonds held by non-resident investors will mature from 2023 onwards.

This data series was introduced for the first time in February 2014.