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 Report on U.S. Portfolio Holdings of Foreign Securities at End-Year 2008


10/30/2009

TG-340

WASHINGTON The findings from an annual survey of U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities at year-end 2008 were released today and posted on the Treasury web site at ( http://www.treas.gov/tic/fpis.html).

The survey was undertaken jointly by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.  

A complementary survey measuring foreign portfolio holdings of U.S. securities also is conducted annually. Data from the most recent such survey, which reports on securities held on June 30, 2009, are currently being processed. Preliminary results are expected to be reported on February 26, 2010.

Overall Results

The survey measured the value of U.S. portfolio holdings at year-end 2008 of approximately $4.3 trillion, with $2.7 trillion held in foreign equities, $1.3 trillion in foreign long-term debt securities (original term-to-maturity in excess of one year), and $0.3 trillion held in foreign short-term debt securities.   The previous such survey, conducted as of year-end 2007, measured U.S. portfolio holdings of $7.2 trillion, with $5.2 trillion held in foreign equities, $1.6 trillion in foreign long-term debt securities and $0.4 trillion held in foreign short-term debt securities. The decrease in the value of U.S. portfolio holdings between the two surveys primarily reflects valuation changes in foreign equities during 2008.

U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities by country at the end of 2008 were the largest for the United Kingdom ($647 billion), followed by Japan ($403 billion) and Canada ($378 billion) (see Table 2). These three countries attracted one-third of the total U.S. portfolio investment.  

The surveys are part of an internationally-coordinated effort under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to improve the measurement of portfolio asset holdings.

Table 1.   U.S. holdings of foreign securities, by type of security, as of survey dates [1]

(Billions of dollars)

Type of Security

Dec. 31, 2007 revised

Dec. 31, 2008

 

 

 

Long-term Securities

6,863

4,009

                Equity

5,253

2,748

                Long-term debt

1,610

1,261

Short-term debt securities

357

282

 

 

 

Total

7,220

4,291

U.S. Portfolio Investment by Country

Table 2.   U.S. holdings of foreign securities, by country of issuer and type of security, for the countries attracting the most U.S. portfolio investment, as of December 31, 2008

(Billions of dollars, except as noted)

 

Country or region

         Total

        Equity

Long-Term Debt

Short-Term Debt

1

United Kingdom

647

377

185

  85

2

Japan

403

348

  54

    2

3

Canada

378

180

166

  32

4

Cayman Islands

315

95

202

  18

5

France

285

212

  58

  15

6

Germany

255

160

  80

  15

7

Switzerland

218

214

    4

    *

8

Netherlands

169

  77

  75

  18

9

Bermuda

163

143

  19

    1

10

Australia

146

  65

  71

    9

11

Spain

  93

  63

  25

    5

12

Brazil

  91

  72

  19

    *

13

Mexico

  65

  46

  19

    *

14

Hong Kong

  65

  61

    3

    *

15

Ireland

  63

  22

  23

  18

16

Italy

  62

  47

  13

    1

17

Luxembourg

  60

  16

  37

    8

18

Sweden

  59

  30

  20

    9

19

Korea, South

  56

  45

  10

    *

20

China, Mainland

  55

  53

    2

    *

21

Israel

  46

  31

  15

    *

22

Taiwan

  41

  41

    *

    0

23

Finland

  41

  36

    3

    3

24

Netherlands Antilles

  38

  37

    1

    *

25

Jersey

  37

  11

    8

  19

 

Rest of world

437

264

148

  24

 

Total

        4,291

        2,748

        1,261

282

* Greater than zero, but less than $500 million


[1]   The stock of foreign securities on December 31, 2008 reported in this survey does not, for a number of reasons, correspond to the stock of foreign securities on December 31, 2007, plus cumulative securities flows reported in the Treasury International Capital reporting system.   An analysis of the relationship between the stock and flow data is available in Table 4 and the associated text of the final report on U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities at end-year 2008.

 

 

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