Cyprus Mail

Cypriot public debt held to 79% by non-residents, EU-highest

Cyprus’s general government debt was held in 2016 to 79.4 per cent by non-residents, which is the highest in the European Union, the European Commission’s statistical office said.

Financial institutions and non-financial institutions residents held 17.3 per cent and 3.3 per cent of public debt last year respectively, Eurostat said in a statement on its website. Cyprus’s government debt is broken down to 32.7 per cent debt securities and 67.3 per cent loans.

Denmark had the lowest ratio of foreign-held government debt last year with below 30 per cent, followed by Sweden and Luxembourg with over 29 per cent and almost 36 per cent respectively, Eurostat said.

In 2016, Latvia, Lithuania and Austria had the second, third and fourth highest ratio of foreign held debt with 72 per cent, 69 per cent and 71 per cent respectively. The data have no information on Greece, the EU and euro area average.

According to the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO), in December 2016, the central government’s debt was broken down to 22 per cent foreign held bonds, 33 per cent loans from the European Stability Mechanism, 5 per cent from the International Monetary Fund, 13 per cent from the Russian Federation and 6 per cent to the Central Bank of Cyprus while a further 7 per cent represented loans from various official bodies such as the European Investment Bank.

Domestic bonds, retail bonds, treasury bills and private loans made up 6 per cent, 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, according to the PDMO.

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