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The Financial Times (FT) recently ran a story highlighting the fact that more than 25% of the United Kingdom (UK) government debt is being owned by foreign investors.

The news report mentions that overseas fund managers snap up more than £100 billion of gilts since the EU referendum while affirming that foreign investors own roughly 28% of the gilt market, a proportion on a par with domestic pension funds and insurers that has remained fairly steady over the past decade.

Key quotes

“In the past, overseas investors have tended to pause their purchases when they are worried about depreciation of the UK currency, such as during the financial crisis.”

“But the money flowing into the gilt market may also be a direct result of declines in the value of the pound since 2016.”

“In recent years, investors at home and abroad have seen rising risks of a disruptive Brexit as a reason to buy gilts, betting that the resulting damage to the economy would force the BoE to cut interest rates or even restart its bond-buying programme.”

FX implications

Although the GBP/USD pair shows no reaction to the news while trading around 1.2600, this supports the market’s expectations of a recovery in the Cable.