June 20, 2017 / 2:40 PM / a month ago

Central bank demand for Belgian bonds softer this year - debt agency

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LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Global central banks have shown less demand for Belgium's government debt this year because of elections elsewhere in the euro zone, the country's debt chief said on Tuesday.

Central banks, especially from emerging market countries, have tended to be big buyers of high-rated euro zone government debt like Belgium's which they see as a safe store of wealth.

"Since last November, early this year we've seen them (central banks) less in the market because of uncertainty in the Netherlands, France etc," Anne Leclercq, the head of Belgium's debt agency said at a Euromoney conference in London.

"I got the impression, they had all held back, so it's more really a reason to do with politics rather than the level of rates."

She added that secondary market liquidity had also dropped, as an unintended consequence of the European Central Bank's 2 trillion euro ($2.23 trillion) bond buying scheme. ($1 = 0.8975 euros) (Reporting by John Geddie and Dhara Ranasinghe; editing by Marc Jones)

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