The UAE is once again investing in US Treasuries due to improved and reasonable interest rates, according to Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, UAE Central Bank governor.
"In the past, the interest rates were low [in the US], but now we are investing there since interest rates are reasonable. We do invest in US Treasuries because the circumstances changed and we changed our decision," Al Suwaidi told Gulf News.
The UAE Central Bank said in July, when the risk of a US debt default was unsettling the markets, that it did not hold any US Treasuries and that most of its foreign reserves, though denominated in dollars, were invested in non-US assets.
"It [the volume of investment] is fluctuating depending on what the yield is," he told reporters.
The 10-year Treasury yield hit a record low of 1.72 per cent in September and has since rebounded to around 2 per cent.
Spreading the risk
The Central Bank's foreign currency assets edged down to a three-month low of Dh199.1 billion ($54.2 billion) in June. But the holdings of foreign securities rose to Dh86 billion in June, the highest since 2007, the latest available data show.
Asked whether the UAE was considering following Austria's central bank, which earlier this month signed a deal with China allowing it to invest in Chinese local currency assets, Saif Hadef Al Shamsi, senior executive director at the Central Bank's Treasury Department, said: "Having more places to invest in is always good."
Al Shamsi added that the Central Bank's reserves were also invested in Japanese government securities. Gulf nations have traditionally been large buyers of US government debt.