Cayman Islands, United Kingdom, and Japan lead as source of foreign securities held by the United States

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Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

Washington – The findings from the annual survey of U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities at year-end 2019 were released today and posted on the Treasury web site at https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Pages/shcreports.aspx

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 holdings of U.S. securities is also conducted annually.  Data from the most recent such survey, which reports on securities held at end-June 2020, are currently being processed.  Preliminary results are expected to be reported on February 26, 2021.

OVERALL RESULTS

This survey measured the value of U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities at year-end 2019 as approximately $13.1 trillion, with $9.5  trillion held in foreign equity, $3.1 trillion held in foreign long-term debt securities (original term-to-maturity in excess of one year), and $0.5 trillion held in foreign short-term debt securities.  The previous such survey, conducted as of year-end 2018, measured U.S. holdings of approximately $11.3 trillion, with $7.9 trillion held in foreign equity, $2.9 trillion held in foreign long-term debt securities, and $0.5 trillion held in foreign short-term debt securities.  The increase in 2019 was mainly in equity (see Table 1).

U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities by country at the end of 2019 were the largest for the Cayman Islands ($2.00 trillion), followed by the United Kingdom ($1.52 trillion), Japan ($1.15 trillion), and Canada ($1.10 trillion) (see Table 2).  These four countries attracted 44 percent of total U.S. portfolio investment, versus 45 percent the previous year.
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 SecurityDecember 31, 2018December 31, 2019
   
Long-term Securities10,79312,617
            Equity7,8999,478
            Long-term debt2,8943,139
Short-term debt securities502470
Total11,29513,087

U.S. PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT BY COUNTRY

Table 2.  Market value of U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities, by country and type of security, for countries attracting the most U.S. investment, as of December 31, 2019 [1]

(Billions of dollars)

Country or categoryTotalEquityDebt
TotalLong-termShort-term
Cayman Islands2,000,8011,501,486499,315494,4794,836
United Kingdom1,517,1651,013,549503,616411,51092,106
Japan1,147,091926,921220,171164,22555,946
Canada1,097,840592,702505,138394,631110,507
France661,756468,257193,499167,97425,525
Ireland647,745560,50887,23778,2369,001
Switzerland596,729551,90144,82842,1952,633
Netherlands572,862370,537202,324188,33613,988
Germany467,164380,90786,25770,43715,820
Australia366,041201,612164,429120,58943,840
Bermuda274,844239,41235,43135,39734
Korea, South231,202211,61519,58819,354234
China, mainland (1)222,282204,25218,03015,1972,833
Taiwan214,872214,80369690
India200,659185,10715,55214,5471,005
Brazil197,708168,53029,17828,624554
Hong Kong180,713170,8349,8797,2192,660
Spain162,493115,11247,38144,2103,171
Luxembourg156,69381,25175,44271,9233,519
Sweden155,408110,17245,23529,85215,383
Rest of world2,015,2931,208,546806,748740,46666,282
Total13,087,3619,478,0143,609,3473,139,470469,877

*     Greater than zero but less than $500 million.

Items may not sum to totals due to rounding.

[1] The stock of foreign securities for December 31, 2019, reported in this survey may not, for a number of reasons, correspond to the stock of foreign securities on December 31, 2018, plus cumulative flows reported in Treasury’s transactions reporting system.  An analysis of the relationship between the stock and flow data is available in Exhibit 4 and the associated text of “U.S. Portfolio Holdings of Foreign Securities as of End-December 2019.”

[2] China, Hong Kong, and Macau are all reported separately.

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