Bloomberg Businessweek

Reaching for Yield in the Land of 0%

The savings bank owned by Japan’s postal service has become an unlikely global powerhouse in bonds. It had little choice

The long era of superlow interest rates has reshaped the financial world in some surprising ways. For example, who comes to mind when you think of major players in the global fixed-income market? There are the giant Pimco, BlackRock, and Vanguard funds, of course. But how about Japan’s post office?

Strictly speaking, we’re talking about Japan Post Bank Co., the banking unit of Japan Post Holdings Co., a publicly traded company majority-owned by the government. The postal bank held $577 billion worth of bonds outside its home market in March. That’s more than the investment-grade portfolio at Fidelity Investments or the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek5 min readPolitics
The Lasting Burden Of Student Debt
Paying off the $1.6 trillion bill for higher education could take U.S. borrowers a lifetime
Bloomberg Businessweek2 min read
From Dusk ’Til Yawn
Modern life’s ability to disrupt our circadian rhythms—whether with blue light from our devices or jet lag—has spurred a cottage industry of alarm clocks that aim to provide inconsistent sleepers with a measure of control. Philips’s touch-sensitive S
Bloomberg Businessweek4 min read
When Midwest Startups Sell, Their Hometowns Often Lose
Cities keep handing local companies tax incentives even after they’ve cashed in, shortchanging schools