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Taiwan remained the world's fifth largest net creditor in 2013

TAIPEI -- Taiwan retained its position as the world's 5th largest net creditor at the end of 2013 as the country's external assets continued to grow, according to the central bank.

At the end of last year, Taiwan's international investment recorded a net asset position of US$850.9 billion, up US$44.9 billion, or 5.6 percent, from a year earlier.

The net asset position is calculated by subtracting a country's total external liabilities from its total external assets.

Japan ranked as the world's largest net creditor at the end of last year with a net asset position of US$3.11 trillion, ahead of China's US$1.97 trillion in net asset position, Germany's US$1.83 trillion and Switzerland's US$983.7 billion, the central bank's statistics showed.

Taiwan's central bank said it alone held US$421.9 billion in net assets at the end of 2013, up 3.3 percent from a year earlier, while net assets held by the private sector rose 4.6 percent year-on-year to US$392.5 billion.

At the end of December, Taiwan's total external assets reached US$1.44 trillion, up US$131.2 billion or 10 percent from a year earlier. The central bank attributed the increase to higher bank deposits in their overseas branches and rising investments by insurance companies.

The central bank said reserve assets held by the central bank at the end of 2013 rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier to US$421.9 billion, while Taiwan's direct investments and portfolio investments rose 6.3 percent and 10.2 percent from a year earlier, respectively, to US$246.1 billion and US$430.3 billion.

The central bank said Taiwan's total net liabilities stood at US$587.0 billion at the end of 2013, up US$86.3 billion or 17.3 percent from a year earlier.

During the period, the banking sector's foreign borrowing grew, net inflows resulting from foreign institutional investments in the local bourse increased, and share prices rose in the local equity market, which boosted Taiwan's total net liabilities.

As of the end of December, foreign direct investments and portfolio investments in Taiwan rose 10.3 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, to US$65.8 billion and US$263.3 billion.

The central bank said the United States ranked as the world's largest net debtor at the end of 2013 with a net asset position of minus US$4.58 trillion, ahead of Spain's negative net asset position of US$1.39 trillion, Brazil's minus US$764 billion, Australia's minus US$747.8 billion, and Italy's negative US$644.5 billion.

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