Swiss Central Bank Boosts Stakes in FAAMG Stocks by 77 Percent to $9.38 Billion

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, wallstreetonparade:

The Swiss central bank may be part of a modern age Tulip Bubble.

Since June 30 of last year, Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank, has increased its stock holdings of five U.S. social media/tech stocks from $5.3 billion to $9.38 billion, an increase of 77 percent in 12 months. The stocks are Apple, Alphabet (parent to Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. The stock information comes from a 13F filing the Swiss National Bank made this month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a quarterly form required of institutional investment managers who manage $100 million or more.

According to the SEC form, the Swiss central bank owns the following positions as of June 30, 2017: $2.76 billion in Apple common stock; over $2 billion in two classes of Alphabet stock; $1.864 billion in Microsoft common; $1.434 billion in Amazon common; and $1.32 billion in Facebook Class A. It owns tens of billions of dollars more in other U.S. and global stocks.

Adding to the peculiarity of this central bank, its own stock actually trades on a stock exchange and its stock price has soared by 88 percent since April. (See chart above.)

According to the website of the Swiss National Bank, it “does not pursue any strategic interests in its equity investments and as a general rule does not engage in any stock selection.” It says its share holdings are “managed passively by replicating a combination of different indices.”

It has a flexible do-no-evil expressed philosophy in buying stocks for its portfolio, writing that it “avoids shares in companies which produce internationally banned weapons, seriously violate fundamental human rights or systematically cause severe environmental damage.” That philosophy has not prevented it from (as of June 30, 2017) owning $464 million in Philip Morris International, which says it is “the world’s leading tobacco company” and that “six of the world’s top international brands are ours, including Marlboro, the world’s number one.”

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