INTERVIEW-Asahi Life to focus on domestic bonds in H2

TOKYO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Asahi Mutual Life Insurance plans to focus on investing in domestic bonds while continuing to cut Japanese stock holdings in the six months to March 2013, as it aims for stable portfolio management, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Asahi Life plans to boost its domestic bond investment by 180 billion yen ($2.26 billion) in the October-March second half after raising such holdings by 10 billion yen in the first half to Sept. 30, and will further curb investment in Japanese stocks after reducing it by 60 billion yen in April-September, he said.

The sixth-ranked Japanese life insurer, which keeps its foreign bond holdings fully hedged, plans to shrink such holdings by 60 billion yen in the second half, after boosting them by 50 billion yen in the first half, Takahiro Ono, its chief portfolio manager, told Reuters.

``We maintain our investment strategy aiming at a stable portfolio to secure income,'' Ono said in an interview. ``We plan to primarily allocate funds to domestic bonds, given uncertain global circumstances.''

At the end of the current financial year, the life insurer plans to keep assets under management little changed from levels at the end of September of around 5.6 trillion yen, he said. It held assets under management of 5.9 trillion yen as of the end of March. ($1 = 79.7800 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Chikako Mogi and Hirotoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Michael Watson)