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P&C insrers have decreased muni bond holdings

(Bloomberg) – Some of the biggest U.S. insurers reduced their holdings of state and local government bonds after the corporate tax cut took effect this year, marking a retreat by a key buyer in the $3.9 trillion municipal-securities market.

Related: Lower U.S. taxes may dash P&C insurers’ demand for municipal bonds

The disclosures, made in filings by companies including Progressive Corp. and Chubb Ltd., confirm the speculation among analysts that the lower tax rate would weaken demand for municipal debt, which offers lower yields because the income is tax-free. The pullback, if sustained, could create headwinds for a market that’s already contending with periodic selloffs as investors brace for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates further.

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