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Sure UK public debt is sky high, but it doesn’t matter. Demand for UK bonds (gilts) is voracious:From MNI:
With the BOE purchasing large amounts of gilts, net overseas holdings of gilts have been rising sharply. In November, overseas gilt holdings rose by Stg16.344 billion, up from Stg12.527 billion in the
previous month, the BOE data showed.
The reason for this is simple. Like the US, the UK can print money, meaning that, pound weakness aside, gilts are a risk-free asset in a time when the availability of risk-free assets is dwindling.
And of course performance was pretty fantastic, as UK bonds outperformed all other major government bond indices in 2011, according to Bloomberg.