Statutory portfolio investment policy

The Bank regularly assesses management of the statutory portfolio. Different asset classes are taken into consideration and various factors play a role, such as yield, liquidity and risk, revenue volatility and impact on the shareholders’ dividend.

As regards the latter aspect, the Eurosystem’s specific accounting rules are relevant for a valuation at the market price. These rules stipulate that unrealised losses must be brought to the P&L, while unrealised gains cannot be distributed but must be recorded on the balance sheet. Taking that into consideration, it is not very appropriate for the statutory portfolio – in the current context – to invest in shares or in volatile assets bearing exchange rate risks. Fixed-income euro-denominated securities are valued at the amortised purchase price on the basis of the actuarial return, which has a more stable and predictable yield.

In light of the above-mentioned factors and taking into account the fact that investing in physical gold does not generate any operating income, gold investments have so far not been considered advisable in the statutory portfolio.

The singularity of the NBB as a central bank and the expertise that it has built up by its very nature also play a role when it comes to statutory portfolio management. This implies that it is familiar with the fixed-income market, but has no extensive knowledge of specific markets like the property market, for instance. The Bank also assumes that its shareholders have knowingly acquired shares in a central bank; as far as investment in real estate is concerned, there are more specialized opportunities.