More than 500 investors bid for them.
Was that a staggering display of investor confidence, or symptomatic of something more deep-rooted? According to research by JP Morgan's Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, it's the latter, the third of the three drivers.
If the principal investment theme of 2013 was the "Great Rotation" out of fixed income into stocks, the early indications this year point to a partial reversal of that flow to a broader "Asset Reflation."
Last year the world's major stock markets rose between 20 and 30 percent, while 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds, the global fixed income benchmark, lost almost 8 percent on a total returns basis.
Investors are now no longer selling bonds to buy stocks but are instead buying both stocks and bonds equally. The net effect is stronger bonds, and on a relative basis, weaker stocks.
The pace of equity fund buying by retail investors slowed to around $75 billion in the first quarter, 50 percent of last year's pace, JP Morgan's Panigirtzoglou estimates.
And bonds of all stripes—even Greek ones—are in demand.
Read MoreBonds vs. bond funds: What you need to know now
"The implications of this shift are two fold: there is no retail flow support for the bearish view on bond markets, and there is significantly less retail money flowing into equities than last year," Panigirtzoglou said.
It's also worth bearing in mind the relative size of the global equity universe.
At the end of last year the stock of global financial assets stood at $242 trillion, according to Deutsche Bank. Of that, equities accounted for only $64 trillion and fixed income assets were worth some $97 trillion.
Global stock market capitalisation was worth 87 percent of all goods and services produced in the world economy last year. The value of outstanding bonds was worth 133 percent.
In short, it doesn't take a huge relative shift to magnify the impact on stocks. The flip side to that is it takes a sizeable flow in or out of fixed income to really be felt.
So why the shift since the beginning of the year? Again, there's no clear answer. JP Morgan's Panigirtzoglou says investors may have simply realised the pace of last year's stock market rally was unsustainable and so decided to buy more bonds.
Alternatively, they were attracted by the relatively high yields offered by bonds and began to snap them up, just as pension funds and insurance companies did late last year.
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