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Gold gleams as world’s largest reinsurer “hits the mattresses” against NIRP
by Blanchard Coins | March 16, 2016

Gold’s allure keeps rising thanks to the growing preponderance of negative interest rates worldwide.

Morgan Stanley, which just declared that global recession odds have risen to 30%, has now raised its average gold-price target for the year, by 8% to $1,173, below current spot levels but nevertheless an acknowledgment that the metal’s run higher this year looks like the real deal.

And now the world’s largest reinsurer is turning to physical assets to shelter itself from the scourge of negative rates, in which central banks charge other institutions storage fees, which are then often passed on to everyday bank depositors.

Munich Re of Germany has announced that it’s “going to the mattresses,” so to speak, increasing its gold and cash reserves in the wake of steeper negative rates from the European Central Bank.

“Munich Re has held gold in its coffers for some time and recently added a cash sum in the two-digit million euros,” Reuters reported, citing CEO Nikolaus von Bomhard.

“We are just trying it out, but you can see how serious the situation is,” von Bomhard said.

A separate Bloomberg story on the situation specified those cash levels at “at least 10 million euros ($11 million) in two currencies.”

This is huge news for gold because although its presence has been increasing in central-bank vaults in recent years, it remains vastly underrepresented in the asset allocations of other large-scale investors such as insurers and pension funds, some of which are now being forced to consider the yellow metal thanks to the destructiveness of NIRP, or negative-interest-rate policies. Munich Re’s latest plunge into self-storing cash and gold could mark a sea change for the precious metal’s prospects.


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