UPDATE 1-Sumitomo Life plans to step up investment in foreign bonds

(Adds detail from conference, comments)

TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) - Sumitomo Life Insurance will step up investment in foreign bonds in the financial year ending March 2020, and plans to raise its holdings higher than the previous year’s increase of 240 billion yen ($2.2 billion), a senior executive said on Tuesday.

The firm plans to increase investment in other assets such as foreign stocks and domestic bonds, Toshio Fujimura, head of investment planning department, told reporters at a news conference.

The insurer expects the global economy to have a moderate growth and stock prices to climb, boosted partly by accommodative monetary policies by the world’s major central banks, Fujimura said.

Domestic bonds

Sumitomo Life Insurance plans to increase holdings in domestic bonds by the same amount as the previous financial year, in which it was raised by 240 billion yen. The company plans to limit its buying in super-long bonds as it expects low yields to stay.

Foreign bonds

The company said it will raise its holdings in foreign bonds as well. The insurer plans to expand investments in credit products with a currency hedge, keeping an eye on extending diversification to more non-dollar assets.

It also plans to expand holdings without currency hedge, when the dollar falls below 110 yen.

Domestic stocks and funds

The institutional investor plans to increase the holdings by about 60 billion yen as the company did in the previous financial year.

Foreign stocks and funds

The insurer is also expecting to increase holdings in foreign stocks and funds by the same amount as previous year’s 250 billion yen. It plans to enhance investments in infrastructure equity funds and private equity funds.

$1 = 111.7600 yen Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Sherry Jacob-Phillips