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Balance of payments, second half of 2019

Holdings in foreign shares and investment fund shares increased

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2020-09-14 9.30

Swedish holdings in foreign portfolio assets increased in the second half of 2019. At the end of December 2019, total holdings amounted to SEK 6 216.6 billion, which was 5 percent less than at the end of June 2019. This increase is mainly due to larger share holdings abroad, in which holdings in US shares account for the major part.

Portfolio assets consist of foreign shares, investment fund shares, and long-term and short-term debt securities.

Swedish holdings in shares amounted to SEK 3 424.7 billion at the end of 2019, which is 8.3 percent more than at the end of June 2019. Swedish investors’ largest holdings were in US shares, and amounted to SEK 1 497 billion, which corresponds to 44 percent of total share holdings. Investments in shares in Asia have become more popular in the past six months. Sweden’s share holdings, in particular, increased significantly in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, India and China in the second half of 2019. Sweden’s total share holdings in China amounted to SEK 64.6 billion at the end of December 2019, up by 40 percent compared with the end of June 2019.

Swedish holdings in foreign shares, SEK billions

Graph: Swedish holdings in foreign shares, SEK billions

Holdings in investment funds amounted to SEK 1 515.4 billion at the end of 2019, which was 8.7 percent more than at the end of June 2019. Luxembourg remains the single largest recipient country for Swedish holdings in foreign investment fund shares, accounting for SEK 833.5 billion. In total, 55 percent of Sweden’s foreign portfolio assets in investment fund shares are located in Luxembourg.

Swedish holdings in foreign investment fund shares, SEK billions

Graph: Swedish holdings in foreign investment fund shares, SEK billions

Holdings in debt securities decreased

Sweden’s holdings in debt securities amounted to SEK 1 276.5 billion at the end of December 2019, which is 7.1 percent less than at the end of June 2019. At the end of 2019, shares accounted for 55.1 percent, investment funds accounted for 24.4 percent, and debt securities accounted for 20.5 percent of Sweden’s total holdings. Five years ago, portfolio assets distributed in debt securities accounted for 28.6 percent of Sweden’s holdings. In the past five years, distributing portfolio assets into shares and investment funds has been a growing trend, while debt securities are not as common today. 

Sweden’s portfolio assets distribution, SEK billions

Graph: Sweden’s portfolio assets distribution, SEK billions

Other financial institutions remain the largest holder sector

The largest holder sector was the other financial institutions sector, which accounted for 69.8 percent of total holdings at the end of December 2019. The other financial institutions sector includes securities companies, fund management companies and insurance companies. This sector holds mainly shares and investment fund shares, but also has the largest holdings of debt securities. The second largest sector was the social insurance sector, which accounted for 15.9 percent of total holdings.

Debt securities issued in US dollars remain the most common

Holdings in debt securities were dominated by the currencies US dollars, euros, and Swedish kronor, in which securities issued in US dollars accounted for the largest share. Swedish investors’ holdings in debt securities issued in US dollars amounted to SEK 443.1 billion at the end of December 2019. In the second half of 2019, holdings in currencies other than US dollar, euro, Swedish krona, pound sterling, and Japanese yen were less common. The other currencies category decreased from SEK 186.3 billion at the end of June 2019 to SEK 106.4 billion at the end of December 2019.

Swedish holdings in foreign debt securities per currency, SEK billions

Definitions and explanations

This item of statistical news is based on the Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS), carried out on the initiative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and to which numerous countries submit results biannually. CPIS reporting includes holdings in portfolio assets with the rest of the world and forms part of the international investment position in Sweden. Sweden has taken part in this survey since 2001. Assets in the first six months of the year are measured at the end of June, and in the second half of the year, assets are measured at the end of December.

What are portfolio assets?

Trading and holdings in securities are grouped under the concept of portfolio investments, which includes shares, investment funds and debt securities. To be defined as a portfolio investment, the ownership share must be below 10 percent of the votes; if the ownership share is above 10 percent, it is defined as a direct investment.

Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency

The Riksbank

Producer

Statistics Sweden, Foreign trade and balance of payments

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