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Switzerland’s Central Bank Holds U.S. Stocks Worth $127 Billion

This content was published on November 9, 2020 - 16:19

(Bloomberg) -- The Swiss National Bank’s U.S. equity investments have risen to a record $127 billion, reflecting buoyant stock markets in recent months.

Switzerland’s central bank has 20% of its reserves in stocks, and as of late September held shares in 2,430 U.S. companies, including a stake worth $7.8 billion in iPhone-maker Apple Inc. The huge reserves have been generated by its foreign-exchange interventions over the past decade.

The investments have become a source of controversy, and anti-war activists in Switzerland want the central bank to divest from defense companies. It could be forced to sell some stocks if the country backs such a proposal in a national vote on Nov. 29.

It has a stake in B-52 bomber-maker Boeing Co., as well as other firms, according to its filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, published Tuesday. Military aviation-firm Northrop Grumman Corporation didn’t appear on the list.

The SNB’s investments mirror indexes and it doesn’t do stock picking. A spokeswoman declined to comment.

Currency interventions have been part of the SNB’s policy toolkit for a decade. It uses them to prevent too much of a rise in the franc, which would heighten deflationary pressures.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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