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Balance of payments, first half of 2017:

Holdings of foreign shares increased

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2018-01-19 9.30

Swedish holdings in foreign portfolio assets amounted to SEK 4 854 billion at the end of the first six months of 2017. This is an increase of SEK 279 billion, corresponding to six percent, from December 2016. Holdings in shares increased by SEK 199 billion in the first six months of the year and contributed most to the increase.

Portfolio assets consist foreign shares and investment fund shares, as well as long-term and short-term debt securities. A large proportion of the increase in assets in the first six months of 2017 can be explained by an increase of SEK 199 billion in foreign shares. Swedish shareholdings increased mainly in British, Japanese and US shares. US shares accounted for 41 percent of Sweden’s total investments in foreign shares and totalled SEK 1 016 billion at the end of the first half of 2017. Investment fund share holdings increased and amounted to SEK 1 212 billion, up barely one percent from the end of 2016. Holdings in Luxembourg accounted for 54 percent of Sweden’s total investment fund share holdings.

Holdings in foreign debt securities increased by SEK 69 billion in total from December 2016. Long- and short-term debt securities increased by SEK 62 billion and SEK 7 billion, respectively. Swedish investors increased their investments in mainly Danish and French long-term debt securities, by SEK 68 billion and SEK 15 billion, respectively. The increase in holdings in short-term debt securities was mainly due to increased investments in Norway.

The United States continues to be the single largest recipient country of Swedish portfolio investments abroad. Total holdings in the United States corresponded to SEK 1 396 billion, or nearly 29 percent of total portfolio assets, down by one percentage point from December 2016. Holdings in Luxembourg and the United Kingdom also remain substantial, as over 21 percent of Swedish portfolio assets in total are held in these two countries.

Other financial institutions remain the largest holder sector

The other financial institutions sector, which includes securities companies, fund management companies and insurance companies, continues to be the largest sector of holders and held 64 percent of total portfolio investments abroad. This sector’s holdings amounted to SEK 3 100 billion, up SEK 130 billion from December 2016, and accounted for 75 percent of Sweden’s total shareholdings. Holdings in foreign investment fund shares and debt securities amounted to 60 percent and 45 percent, respectively, of Sweden’s total shareholdings.

Holdings also increased in debt securities

The increased holdings in foreign debt securities, equal to SEK 69 billion, were due to SEK 41 billion in increased government securities and SEK 28 billion in increased securities issued by other issuers.

Holdings in long-term debt securities issued by other issuers amounted to SEK 679 billion, equal to 58 percent, while holdings in long-term foreign government securities accounted for 42 percent, corresponding to SEK 699 billion. Certificates issued by other issuers accounted for 87 percent of short-term debt securities, and short-term government securities accounted for 13 percent.

As in previous surveys, holdings in long-term debt securities were dominated by debt securities issued in US dollars, Swedish kronor and euros, and together accounted for 80 percent of holdings.

Definitions and explanations

This study is part of the IMF’s biannual international survey and measures Swedish holdings of foreign portfolio assets with regard to both foreign shares, investment fund shares and debt securities. Sweden has participated in every occasion of this international survey since 2001. 

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


Statistics Sweden, Foreign trade and balance of payments

Box 24 300
104 51 Stockholm


Ida Gustafsson

+46 10 479 43 45

Emilie Leroy

+46 10 479 43 35