An inventory of UK external assets and liabilities end-1975

Quarterly Bulletin 1976 Q2
Published on 01 June 1976

This article continues the annual series of estimates of the United Kingdom's external assets and liabilities, in sterling and foreign currencies, and gives figures for the end of 1975. These are shown in Table E, with notes and definitions for the main items given at the end. The article generally follows the same pattern as in previous years, but two changes should be noted. The first concerns the valuation of both official reserves and inter-government loans to the United Kingdom. Hitherto, both these items (unlike most other figures in this series) have been converted into sterling at parity or middle rates. But With the depreciation of the pound, this method of conversion has increasingly understated the sterling value of these items. Accordingly, for the purposes of this article, the reserves and inter-government loans to the United Kingdom have been converted into sterling at middle market end-year rates; and this has increased the figures for the United Kingdom's net external assets by some £200 million at the end of both 1974 and 1975. The second change is to show public sector foreign currency borrowing under the Treasury's exchange cover schemes separately under 'official financing liabilities', in line with the way in which the balance of payments accounts are now presented: borrowing through UK banks had previously been included within UK banks' liabilities in foreign currencies, and direct borrowing either within foreign currency securities issued, or other borrowing abroad, by public corporations and local authorities.

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