Foreign Holdings of U.S. Securities Rise to Record $18 Trillion

(Bloomberg) -- Foreign holdings of U.S. securities rose to a record $18.4 trillion as of the end of June, according to preliminary data released by Treasury.

An annual survey of foreign portfolio investments -- including U.S. stocks along with short-and long-term debt -- showed holdings rose by 8 percent, up from $17.1 trillion a year earlier, the department said in a statement on its website. Japan was largest investing country with $2 trillion, followed by the Cayman Islands at $1.7 trillion and the U.K. and China at about $1.5 trillion each. Luxembourg rounded out the top five at $1.4 trillion.

Foreign holdings of U.S. equities climbed to $7.2 trillion as of June 30, from $6.2 trillion a year earlier. Short-term debt holdings increased to $954 billion from $909 billion, while long-term debt holdings rose to $10.3 trillion from $10 trillion, the data showed.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview last week that U.S. indebtedness to foreigners doesn’t worry him. His comments follow a warning by the U.S. director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, that America’s debt burden represents “a dire threat to our economic and national security.”

Final results of the survey, conducted with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, will be released April 30. Initial results from a complementary annual study on U.S. holdings of foreign securities as of end-2017 will be released Aug. 31, according to Treasury.

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