Worldwide quantitative easing may be making investors richer rather than encouraging business investment, according to Citigroup Inc.

Fulfilling the goals of central bankers such as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, ultra-low interest rates and bond purchases are encouraging investors to buy stocks. Policy makers' intent was that asset prices and wealth would rise, encouraging consumers and businesses to spend more.

The sticking point is the particular equities investors are favoring, Robert Buckland, Citigroup's London-based chief global equity strategist, said in a Nov. 21 report. His research suggests they tend to choose companies that issue dividends and buy back shares rather than those that invest in the economy.

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