The Central Bank of the Republic of China.／Photo courtesy of CNA
Taipei, June 16 (CNA) Taiwan ranked as the fifth largest net creditor in the world at the end of 2019, holding a strong net international investment position (NIIP), according to the central bank.
Data from the central bank showed Taiwan had US$2.25 trillion in total external assets as of the end of 2019, up US$202.66 billion, or 9.9 percent, from a year earlier.
Taiwan's total external liability was US$910.02 billion, an annual increase of US$151.45 billion, or 20.0 percent, according to the data.
As a result, Taiwan's NIIP -- the difference between its external financial assets and liabilities -- was at US$1.34 trillion at the end of last year, the fifth largest in the world, after Japan (US$3.43 trillion), Germany (US$2.75 trillion), China (US$2.12 trillion) and Hong Kong (US$1.56 trillion), the central bank said.
The growth of Taiwan's total external assets resulted from increased investments in foreign bonds by mutual fund managers and insurances firms, the central bank said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's external liabilities also increased, due to bigger securities holdings by foreign investors and higher equity prices, the bank said.
In 2019, the value of securities held by foreign investors rose US$143.2 billion from a year earlier, as local equity prices soared 23.3 percent, the central bank said.
Tsai Chiung-min, deputy head of the central bank's economic research department, told reporters that Taiwan's higher NIIP is expected to boost its credit ratings, which in turn will attract more foreign investments.
As of the end of 2019, the United States was the largest net debtor nation in the world, with a negative NIIP of US$10.99 trillion, followed by Spain (US$1.04 trillion) and the United Kingdom (US$732.2 billion), according to the central bank.
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