Finnish residents’ foreign assets at end-March 2013 again totalled more than foreign liabilities

Net international investment positionAt the end of the first quarter of 2013, Finnish residents’ foreign assets exceeded foreign liabilities by EUR 21 bn, up 5.3 bn on the previous year. Gross assets totalled EUR 653 bn and gross liabilities EUR 631 bn. For investment funds, employment pension funds and households, foreign assets exceeded foreign liabilities; for non-financial corporations, monetary financial institutions (MFIs), central government and local government, liabilities exceeded assets.

At the end of the first quarter of 2013, Finnish residents’ portfolio investment liabilities topped portfolio investment assets by EUR 7 bn, in contrast to a year earlier when assets exceeded liabilities by EUR 2 bn. In connection with foreign direct investment (FDI), Finnish residents’ assets totalled EUR 41 bn more than liabilities. FDI assets amounted to EUR 6 bn more than a year earlier. FDI activity is largely in the hands of non-financial corporations.

External debt increased further

Portfolio investmentsExcluding equity items – shares in portfolio investment and equity in direct investment – Finnish residents’ foreign liabilities exceeded foreign assets by EUR 77 bn. External debt increased by EUR 14 bn from the first quarter of 2012. The most remarkable growth was in net debt-security liabilities, EUR 23 bn year-on-year. Banks and the central government were the largest importers of capital.

The current account deficit declined from the previous year

Trade and current accountThe total current account for the first quarter of 2013 showed a deficit of EUR 1.0 bn. For March alone, the deficit was EUR 0.5 bn, and the total current account deficit for the previous 12 months was EUR 3.1 bn.

In balance of payments terms, the trade account1 showed a deficit of EUR 0.1 bn in the first quarter of 2013, down by EUR 0.3 bn on the previous year. The deficit on services was EUR 0.3 bn, down slightly on the previous year. In January–March, outward interest and dividend payments exceeded inward payments, so that the income account posted a deficit of EUR 0.2 bn. Net FDI income was EUR 0.4 in surplus, while net portfolio investment income was EUR 0.6 bn in deficit.

1 Balance of payments goods data differ from the National Board of Customs’ foreign trade statistics. For BOP purposes, freight and insurance costs are deducted from the National Board of Customs’ cif-based goods imports and appear as service expenditures. Goods produced in ports, which includes fuel, are added to both imports and exports.

Finland's balance of payments
Year 2012,
EUR million
February 2013,
EUR million
March 2013,
EUR million
12 month moving sum, EUR million
Current account -3,602 -148 -471 -3,116
    Goods 194 104 -17 466
    Services -945 -72 -93 -688
    Income -1,334 -25 -206 -1,378
    Current transfers -1,516 -154 -154 -1,516
Capital account 203 17 17 203
Financial account 15,190 -238 4,507 8,544
    Direct investment -4,934 102 11 -4,199
    Portfolio investment 9,218 -1,271 1,940 15,995
    Other investment 10,890 1,661 3,362 -3,148
    Reserve assets -494 181 -171 -343
    Financial derivatives 510 -911 -636 240
Errors and omissions -11,791 369 -4,053 -5,631
The statistics become final more than two years after the end of the reference year.

More information Anne Turkkila tel. +358 10 831 2175, and Mira Malhotra tel. +358 10 831 2257, email firstname.lastname(at)

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