Launch of the Asian Bond Fund

2 June 2003

Press release

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is pleased to announce the launch of the Asian Bond Fund (ABF). The ABF is being structured by the BIS in response to a proposal from EMEAP1 member central banks. The ABF portfolio will be invested in a basket of liquid US dollar bonds of major Asian economies (excluding Australia, Japan and New Zealand) and its initial size will be approximately USD 1 billion.

Commenting on the launch, BIS General Manager Malcolm Knight said, "The Asian Bond Fund is a significant step in fostering regional cooperation in Asia. It will facilitate the re-investment of a small portion of Asia's reserves back into the region while at the same time aiding the development of regional capital markets. We are delighted to be working with the EMEAP group of central banks on this important initiative. It also marks a major development in the activities of the BIS in the region."

The BIS has managed fixed income portfolios for central banks for many years and the ABF mandate is a natural addition to its already significant business in Asia. In addition to its market development and cooperative aims, the ABF offers its investors an appropriate means of diversifying away from more traditional reserve assets.

The Bank's investment management unit, BIS Asset Management, will manage the ABF with teams based in its Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific and in the BIS head office.

The BIS Asian Office was established in 1998. Its principal roles are to enhance cooperation among central banks in the region, to provide banking services to central banks in the region and to act as a regional centre for monetary and economic research.


1 EMEAP (Executives' Meeting of East Asia and Pacific Central Banks and Monetary Authorities) comprises representatives of 11 Asian economies: Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.