SNB’s U.S. Stock Holdings Hit $62.4 Billion as Growth Slows

Updated on
  • Swiss central bank held shares in some 2,500 U.S. companies
  • SNB invests for monetary policy, not primarily for profit

The value of the Swiss National Bank’s portfolio of U.S. equities rose nearly 1 percent to a record in the three months through September on the back of rallying share prices.

The holdings increased to $62.4 billion from $61.8 billion at the end of June, according to calculations by Bloomberg based on the central bank’s regulatory filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and published on Monday. That is the slowest quarterly increase in a year.

SNB spokesman Walter Meier declined to comment on the filing, which is the only detailed disclosure by the central bank of its share holdings.

The SNB, headed by President Thomas Jordan, is unusual among central banks in that it holds equities as well as fixed income assets, with its buying of foreign assets stemming from the need to invest its vast foreign exchange reserves. The S&P 500 Index added 3.3 percent in the third quarter, its best this year, bolstered by technology shares.

The central bank had stakes in some 2,500 companies listed in the U.S., according to the SEC filing. Its biggest holdings were Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It reduced the number of shares it held in all three companies in the quarter.

SNB rate setters, including Governing Board Member Andrea Maechler, have said on several occasions that they invest for the benefit of monetary policy, replicating broad-based indexes, rather than to generate a profit. It excludes some companies on ethical grounds.

— With assistance by Roxana Zega

(Updates with biggest stock holdings in fifth paragraph.)
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