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Foreign reserves´ strategic asset allocation


  • Carlos León


  • Daniel vela



Despite foreign reserves´ strategic asset allocation relies mainly on Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), the unique characteristics of central banks obliges them to articulate and reconcile typical optimization procedures with reserves´ management objectives such as providing confidence regarding the ability to meet the country´s external commitments. Moreover, further involvedness come from broad economic factors as diverse as the openness of capital and current accounts, external debt´s maturity and currency composition, and exchange rate regime. Therefore, in order to alleviate the divergence from theory and practice regarding foreign reserves´ strategic asset allocation, this paper describes the methodologies and procedures developed and employed by the Foreign Reserves Department of Banco de la República. The mainstay of the paper is a long-term-dependence-adjusted and non-loss-constrained version of the Black-Litterman model for obtaining the efficient frontier from a set of investments complying with safety, liquidity and return criteria, where the choice of the portfolio which maximizes utility makes use of an estimation of the Board of Directors´ risk aversion. Results exhibit the effects of the unique nature of foreign reserves management for emerging markets. Typical features of foreign reserves management by central banks, such as non-loss restrictions due to capital preservation objectives, result in increased complexity in the optimization process and in asset allocations significantly distant from standard MPT´s optimality.

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  • Carlos León & Daniel vela, 2011. "Foreign reserves´ strategic asset allocation," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 008186, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:008186

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Alejandro Acosta R., 2014. "Las acciones como activo de reserva para el Banco de la República," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011004, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

    More about this item


    Foreign reserves; Black-Litterman; strategic asset allocation.;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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