China, All Japan news and South Korea agreed to increase mutual investments in each other’s bond markets, valued at a total of $15 trillion, to better protect themselves from external financial shocks.
The agreement, a rare occasion in the securities investment sector, is meant to protect the markets from massive cross-border fund flows and the risk of a financial meltdown like the one in 1997/1998.
The representatives of the three countries reached the agreement after a meeting of their finance and central bank leaders in Manila. “We agreed to promote the investment by the foreign reserve authorities in (each other’s) government bonds, further strengthen our cooperation, including information sharing, and thereby enhance the regional economic relationship among the three countries,” they said in a joint statement.
The three parties agreed to have working level officials further discuss the methods and procedures of the cooperation, as one of the risks is that conflicts may arise from one country’s massive holdings of another’s bonds.