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Report on U.S. Portfolio Holdings of Foreign Securities at End-Year 2020

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The findings from the annual survey of U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities at year-end 2020 were released today and posted on the Treasury web site at https://home.treasury.gov/data/treasury-international-capital-tic-system/tic-forms-instructions/us-claims-on-foreigners-from-holdings-of-foreign-securities

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 2021, are currently being processed.  Preliminary results are expected to be reported on February 28, 2022.

Overall Results

This survey measured the value of U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities at year-end 2020 as approximately $14.4 trillion, with $10.6 trillion held in foreign equity, $3.4 trillion held in foreign long-term debt securities (original term-to-maturity in excess of one year), and $0.4 trillion held in foreign short-term debt securities.  The previous such survey, conducted as of year-end 2019, measured U.S. holdings of approximately $13.1 trillion, with $9.5 trillion held in foreign equity, $3.1 trillion held in foreign long-term debt securities, and $0.5 trillion held in foreign short-term debt securities.  The increase in 2020 was mainly in equity (see Table 1).

U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities by country at the end of 2020 were the largest for the Cayman Islands ($2.6 trillion), followed by the United Kingdom ($1.4 trillion), Japan ($1.3 trillion), and Canada ($1.2 trillion) (see Table 2).  These four countries attracted 45 percent of total U.S. portfolio investment, versus 44 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.

The full annual report can be found here.

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

(Billions of dollars)

Type of Security December 31, 2019 December 31, 2020
Long-term Securities 12,617 13,988
            Equity 9,478 10,615
            Long-term debt 3,139 3,373
Short-term debt securities 470 399
Total 13,087 14,387

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, 2020 [1]

(Billions of dollars)

Country or category Total Equity Debt
Total Long-term Short-term
Cayman Islands 2,565 2,027 539 531 7
United Kingdom 1,395 919 476 435 40
Japan 1,296 1,013 283 182 102
Canada 1,168 683 484 412 72
France 698 479 220 187 32
Ireland 698 608 90 80 10
Switzerland 632 590 42 41 1
Netherlands 628 423 205 196 9
Germany 535 422 113 93 20
Australia 378 227 151 126 25
Taiwan 304 304 * * 0
Korea, South 300 277 23 22 1
China, Mainland [2] 287 251 35 34 2
Bermuda 283 240 44 44 *
India 234 223 11 11 *
Luxembourg 198 131 67 63 5
Sweden 196 155 42 28 14
Brazil 168 144 24 23 *
Hong Kong 166 158 8 7 1
Spain 163 113 49 47 2
Rest of world 2,094 1,228 866 811 56
Total 14,387 10,615 3,772 3,373 399

*     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, 2020, reported in this survey may not, for a number of reasons, correspond to the stock of foreign securities on December 31, 2019, 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 2020.”

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

This news item was originally published by the US Department of the Treasury (UST US). For more information, please see the Source Link.

Regulator Information

Abbreviation: UST
Jurisdiction: United States

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