1 December 2016News

Re/insurers remain the biggest investors in overseas portfolio holdings

Re/insurers remain the biggest investors in overseas portfolio holdings, according to the latest figures provided by the Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS), which is conducted annually by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA).

The re/insurance sector was responsible for 84 percent of foreign portfolio holdings in 2015 – an increase on the 2014 figure of 82 percent.

According to the survey the insurance sector had a total of $425.1 billion in foreign portfolio holdings on the Island in 2015, vastly overshadowing investment funds, which totalled just $68.9 billion, and banking, with $9.4 billion.

The insurance subsector has held the largest share since 2001 when the survey was conducted for the first time in Bermuda.

Looking at the figures in more detail, insurance foreign portfolio investment assets in 2015 were predominately made up of debt securities, which accounted for 88 percent (or $ 374.9 billion) of total insurance foreign portfolio holdings.

The geographical distribution of the insurance foreign portfolio holdings shows that 62 percent were based in the US, followed by six percent in the UK, four percent in Canada, three percent in Luxembourg, three percent in France and the remaining 22 percent in other countries. The survey did not say if there had been any differences between these figures and the 2014 survey.

However the report did state that: “Since the inception of the CPIS for Bermuda in 2001, the US, Canada, UK and Luxembourg have consistently been among the largest contributors to Bermuda’s foreign portfolio holdings within the insurance subsector.”

According to the survey, insurance foreign portfolio holdings have increased by 57 percent over the last ten years from $270.2 billion in 2006 to $425.1 billion in 2015.

The CPIS is conducted annually by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), with the results becoming part of a broader international study conducted by the International Monetary Fund. Participation is voluntary, with all Bermuda financial services entities regulated by the BMA, as well as the Bermuda government, invited to participate in the exercise.