Japanese investors offloaded a record amount of overseas debt last year as hedging costs rose and speculation the Bank of Japan would normalize policy fueled bets on higher local yields.

Money managers in the nation cut holdings of foreign fixed-income securities by ¥23.8 trillion ($181 billion) over the period, according to balance-of-payments data published by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday. That was an all-time high in the data, which starts in 1996.

The cost for Japanese investors to hedge against volatility in foreign currencies soared last year as central banks around the world raised interest rates to combat inflation. Growing speculation the Bank of Japan would wind back its super-easy monetary policy exerted upward pressures on local yields, boosting their allure over foreign debt elsewhere.