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New International Investment Statistics

Balance of Payments and International Investment Position - New Quarterly Series: Jun and Sept 2000 quarters

Statistics New Zealand has today released the first of a new quarterly series of International Investment Position statistics, previously available only annually. Also released today, for the first time, is a complete quarterly set of Balance of Payments (BOP) accounts.

Previously, only the BOP current and capital accounts, and partial financial account have been available each quarter. The BOP current account measures New Zealand's transactions in goods, services and income with the rest of the world. The BOP capital account measures capital flows, mainly the funds transferred by migrants.

The BOP financial account shows New Zealand's investment transactions with the rest of the world, including New Zealand investment in foreign companies and foreign investment in New Zealand companies, as well as New Zealand's borrowing and lending activities. The International Investment Position statistics show the value of New Zealand's international assets and liabilities at the end of each quarter.

The release of these statistics marks a major achievement for Statistics New Zealand, said Government Statistician, Brian Pink. He noted that New Zealand now fully complies with the BOP reporting standards set by the International Monetary Fund.

The additional BOP financial account and International Investment Position statistics will help in assessing the financial risk New Zealand faces from its international transactions. For example, information on the mix of long-term and short-term investment in New Zealand will help in judging the impact on the economy of a change in investor confidence.

In this first release of the new statistics, only data for the June and September 2000 quarters are available.

The main results of the new statistics show that at 30 September 2000, New Zealand's assets abroad were valued at $75.5 billion, and our liabilities to foreigners were valued at $163.1 billion. Overall, New Zealand is a net debtor to the rest of the world, with liabilities exceeding assets by $87.6 billion at 30 September 2000. The September net debtor position is 5 per cent ($4.1 billion) larger than the 30 June 2000 net debtor position of $83.5 billion.

The June and September 2000 quarters were periods of significant international investment activity, involving a number of major New Zealand companies. The international financial flows associated with these events are reflected in the BOP financial account. In the June and September 2000 quarters, net flows of New Zealand investment abroad were $5.2 billion and $1.1 billion respectively. The net flow of foreign investment into New Zealand was $6.8 billion in the June 2000 quarter, and $3.6 billion in the September 2000 quarter.

The statistics for the December 2000 quarter and March 2001 quarter will be released on Tuesday, 26 June 2001.

The new series have been compiled from a comprehensive survey of approximately 400 major businesses involved in international financial transactions. Statistics New Zealand appreciates the positive co-operation it has received from these firms.

Brian Pink GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

END


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