Journal Article

Recent developments in cross-border investment in securities

Abstract: Securities have replaced bank lending in recent years as the primary means through which funds are invested internationally, and in the process, the share of U.S. securities owned by foreigners has grown markedly. Between 1974 and 2002, the proportion of the value of outstanding U.S. long-term securities (equities and long-term debt) that was foreign-owned increased from about 5 percent to about 12 percent. At the same time, U.S. holdings of foreign long-term securities also increased, although their growth did not match the rapid growth in foreign holdings of U.S. securities. At $1.8 trillion, the value of U.S. holdings of foreign long-term securities at the end of 2002 was less than half the value of foreign holdings of U.S. securities; this difference resulted in a negative net international position in long-term securities of $2.3 trillion. ; The U.S. system for measuring cross-border securities activity consists of annual surveys measuring holdings of securities and monthly reports measuring transactions in securities. This article reports the latest survey data on holdings as well as the more-recent transactions data. The discussion focuses on U.S. cross-border securities activity, but it also addresses the investment patterns of some other countries and describes the initiatives to improve the measurement of cross-border securities investments.

Keywords: Securities; Investments, Foreign;

JEL Classification: F21; F32; F34; G15;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Federal Reserve Bulletin

Publication Date: 2004

Volume: 90

Issue: Win