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《TAIPEI TIMES》Taiwan still fifth-largest net creditor

People cross a street near Taipei 101 on April 30.
Photo: EPA-EFE

People cross a street near Taipei 101 on April 30. Photo: EPA-EFE

2024/06/17 03:00

ASSETS AND LIABILITIES: Restructuring of global supply chains led many Taiwanese companies to send more of their funds overseas last year, the central bank said

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan remained the fifth-largest net creditor last year as its net international investment position (NIIP) hit another new high, the central bank said on Friday.

Taiwan’s external financial assets totaled US$2.91 trillion at the end of last year, up US$247.04 billion, or 9.3 percent, from a year earlier, while the nation’s external financial liabilities reached US$1.17 trillion, up US$183.12 billion, or 18.5 percent, from a year earlier, data compiled by the central bank showed.

The difference between Taiwan’s external financial assets and liabilities hit a new high of US$1.74 trillion, up US$63.92 billion, or 3.8 percent, from a year earlier, positioning the nation as the world’s fifth-largest net creditor, the data showed.

The NIIP is the difference between a country’s external financial assets and its external financial liabilities, the central bank said.

Japan took the top net creditor spot with a NIIP of about US$3.44 trillion last year, followed by Germany (US$3.20 trillion), China (US$2.19 trillion) and Hong Kong (US$1.78 trillion), the central bank said.

The rise in Taiwan’s external financial assets last year stemmed partly from a boom in global stock markets, which pushed up sharply the value of overseas shares held by investors in Taiwan, it said.

Stock markets worldwide rose about 17 percent last year, helping Taiwan’s portfolio investments rise 14.1 percent from a year earlier to US$1.39 trillion, it said.

The nation’s cumulative outbound investments also hit a new high of US$500.14 billion last year, up 10.9 percent from a year earlier, as restructuring of global supply chains led many Taiwanese companies to send more of their funds overseas, it said.

The central bank was referring to companies such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), which has poured funds into the US, Japan and Germany to build advanced wafer fabs to diversify its production bases.

Taiwan has long maintained a surplus in its current account, which mainly measures the exports and imports of a country’s merchandise and services.

The other big creditors, Japan, Germany and China, have also traditionally been net exporters, though Japan has recorded trade deficits over the past few years.

At the end of last year, Taiwan’s current account hit US$105.33 billion, up from US$100.93 billion as of the end of 2022, the central bank data showed.

External financial liabilities were boosted by cumulative foreign direct investment in Taiwan, which reached a new high of US$136.6 billion last year, up 9.8 percent from a year earlier.

In addition, total portfolio investments in Taiwan by overseas investors were up 33.5 percent from a year earlier to US$710.9 billion, the central bank said.

The higher portfolio numbers reflected, in part, the 26.8 percent rise in the TAIEX last year, it said.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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