This article continues the annual series of estimates of the United Kingdom's external assets and liabilities and gives figures for the end of 1972. These are shown in the table on pages 180-181 and are followed by notes and definitions relating to the main items. All external assets and liabilities are classified as "public sector" or "private sector" according to the status of the domestic creditor or debtor. Public sector items are presented as in the balance of payments accounts, where reserves and related official financing items are shown separately from other official assets and liabilities. Private sector items are grouped under the headings "investment" and "banking and commercial"; these can be broadly regarded as equivalent to long-term and short-term items respectively, although this is by no means a precise division. The article in the September 1970 Bulletin pointed out the limitations of an inventory of this kind and the problems of valuation of investments. The estimates of "portfolio investment" are particularly uncertain.