(Adds investment flows by categories, comment)
By David Gaffen
July 16 Foreigners bought more than $19 billion
in U.S. long-term securities in May, including Treasuries and
corporate bonds, after selling debt in April, the U.S. Treasury
Department said on Wednesday.
Including short-term debt and banking inflows overseas
investors purchased $35.5 billion of U.S. securities, of which
$22.4 billion was acquired by foreign official institutions.
The largest purchasers of U.S. debt were Japan and China,
who bought $10.4 billion and $7.7 billion in debt, respectively,
in May. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt at
$1.27 trillion, with Japan ranking second with $1.22 trillion in
Belgium's holdings fell for a second consecutive month. That
country's official holdings had risen dramatically in recent
months due to purchases by clearinghouse Euroclear on behalf of
other institutions. In May, total holdings were $362.4 billion,
down from $366.4 billion in April.
The most significant sales came from the United Kingdom,
with $5.7 billion in net sales.
Foreigners bought a net total of $10.78 billion in corporate
equities in May, the biggest month for purchases of equities
since September of last year.
For the second month in a row, foreigners were net sellers
of corporate debt, with net sales of $5.39 billion, though
official foreign institutions purchased $1.21 billion in
corporate debt. Foreigners have been steady sellers of corporate
debt recently, with net sales in six of the last seven months.
Foreigners purchased a net $4.17 billion in agency
securities in May after six consecutive months of sales, which
Ian Lyngen, senior government bond trader at CRT Capital in
Stamford, Connecticut, suggested was the result of the coming
end of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policies.
U.S. residents, meanwhile, boosted their holdings of foreign
securities to $9.205 trillion, up from $9.102 trillion in March.
(Reporting by David Gaffen; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and W