This survey measured the value of U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities at year-end 2012 as approximately $7.9 trillion, with $5.3 trillion held in foreign equity, $2.3 trillion held in foreign long-term debt securities (original term-to-maturity in excess of one year), and $0.4 trillion held in foreign short-term debt securities. The previous such survey, conducted as of year-end 2011, measured U.S. holdings of approximately $6.8 trillion, with $4.5 trillion held in foreign equity, $2.0 trillion held in foreign long-term debt securities, and $0.4 trillion held in foreign short-term debt securities. The largest gain occurred in equities, reflecting gains in global stock markets.
U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities by country at the end of 2012 were the largest for the United Kingdom ($1.129 trillion), followed by Canada ($808 billion), the Cayman Islands ($797 billion), and Japan ($521 billion) (see Table 2). These four countries attracted 41 percent of total U.S. portfolio investment.
The surveys are part of an internationally coordinated effort under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to improve the measurement of portfolio asset holdings. Full Report