Increased deposits and reduced loans

Banks’ gross external debt to other countries increased from NOK 1 188 billion in the 4th quarter of 2010 to NOK 1 428 billion in the 4th quarter of 2011. The increase was mainly due to increased deposits from foreign banks.

In the same period, “other sectors” had a gross debt increase from NOK 1 272 billion to NOK 1 403 billion. Much of the change stems from the increase in mortgage companies’ bond debt.

Public sector external debt, on the other hand, fell from NOK 569 billion at the end of the 4th quarter of 2010 to NOK 288 billion at the same time in 2011. The decrease in loans is caused by Government Pension Fund’s (SPU) reduced loans associated with repurchase agreements.

The external debt position shows the gross debt for the main institutional sectors, with the exception of direct investments, which is netted. Shares and other equity are not included in the statistics. Published figures for external debt are in accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s definition.

Remarks on the general government external debt

Public sector external debt usually consists of domestic government bonds and treasury bills held by foreign nationals and repurchase agreements with foreign nationals used by the SPU. Repurchase agreements are accounted for as loans on the liabilities side of SPU’s balance. Thus, this accounting method significantly affects public sector external debt. Read more about this in “About the statistics”.

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