Date
23 October 2017
Pedestrians in Tokyo look at an electronic stock board displaying stock index levels. Japanese investors have been steeping up purchases of US government bonds, among other assets. Photo: Bloomberg
Pedestrians in Tokyo look at an electronic stock board displaying stock index levels. Japanese investors have been steeping up purchases of US government bonds, among other assets. Photo: Bloomberg

Japan overtakes China as biggest foreign holder of US Treasuries

Japan has overtaken China as the top foreign holder of US government debt for the first time since the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Private investors and official institutions in Japan owned US$1.2244 trillion of US Treasuries at the end of February, compared with US$1.2386 trillion a month earlier, the report said, citing data released by the Treasury Department on Wednesday.

China held US$1.2237 trillion of Treasury debt at the end of February, compared with US$1.2391 trillion at end-January.

Over the past year, Japan has boosted its holdings by a net US$13.6 billion, while China’s holdings dropped by US$49.2 billion, the report said.

 

The US data, released with a two-month lag, doesn’t capture all of the Treasury-bond holdings China may have parked at middlemen in places such as the UK and Belgium, the Journal noted.

Many analysts and investors believe China has considerable holdings bought through such intermediaries.

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CG/RC

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