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Irish residents own €1.44 trillion in foreign securities

This is up €86 billion since 2009, and includes an overall increase in US securities of €68.9 billion, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Image: Kostas Tsironis/AP/Press Association Images

IRISH RESIDENTS NOW own €1,438 billion in foreign securities, according to Central Statistics Office figures as of 31 December 2010.

Investment in foreign securities refers to people making purchases in a country’s stock and bond markets.

The value of Irish residents’ holdings of foreign securities at the end of December 2010 was up €86 billion on the revised 2009 level of €1,353 billion.

The figures show that Irish residents now hold €101,982 million in United States equity; €214,451 million in US bonds and notes; and €82,567 million in US money market instruments – a total of €399 billion.

The overall investment in US securities showed an increase of €68.9 billion. Meanwhile, overall investment in UK securities showed a decrease of €4.4 billion between the end of 2009 and 2010.

UK equity held by Irish residents stands at €64, 313 million; UK bonds and notes at €146, 860 million; and UK money market instruments at €45, 880 million; for a total of over €257 billion.

So while UK equity investment and money market instruments increased by €10.9 billion and €6 billion respectively, the stock of bonds and notes fell by €21.3 billion.

The combined investment in US-issued and UK-issued instruments (€656 billion) accounted for relatively more (46 per cent) of the total stock than at the end of 2009, while investment in other euro-area countries (€481 billion), at 33 per cent of the total, decreased slightly.

Investment in French securities showed an increase of €11.6 billion to €105 billion, overtaking Italy as the third most popular investment location.

The biggest increase was in equity assets, which the CSO says was mainly “the result of further recovery in global equity markets”.

Equity securities  include ordinary shares, stocks and participating preference shares. Equity assets now account for 32 per cent of total assets, up from 28 per cent in 2009.

These figures result from the CSO’s ongoing participation in the annual Co-ordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS) conducted by the IMF. It collects data from financial and non-financial enterprises, including enterprises engaged in internationally-traded financial service activities, which are known collectively as IFSC (International Financial Services Centre) enterprises.

Read the CSO’s ‘Resident Holdings of Foreign Portfolio Securities’ report >

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