New Zealand investing more in Southeast Asia

Friday 8 March 2013, 3:33PM
By Statistics New Zealand

On 7 March 2013 we corrected some figures originally published on 27 September 2012. These figures refer to foreign direct investment (FDI) with the European Union (EU) and Southeast Asia. See corrections for more detail.
The value of New Zealand's overseas direct investment (ODI) in Southeast Asia grew from $0.7 billion at 31 March 2008, to $2.2 billion at 31 March 2012, Statistics New Zealand said today. Of New Zealand's total ODI of $24.3 billion, around half was held in Australia at 31 March 2012.

"New Zealand's ODI in Southeast Asia has caught up with our ODI in Europe, which has fallen in recent years," balance of payments manager John Morris said.

This information is from the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: Year ended March 2012 information release, which includes a detailed breakdown of international investment data by country and by industry.

Total FDI in New Zealand was $97.3 billion at 31 March 2012. Two-thirds of FDI in New Zealand was from Australia (mainly through the major banks) and the United States.
Since 2008, the value of FDI in New Zealand from the EU has also fallen $2.6 billion, down to $7.6 billion at 31 March 2012. This mainly represents a fall in the value of borrowing by New Zealand companies from their overseas parents.

Meanwhile, FDI from Southeast Asia has risen $1.0 billion since 31 March 2010, up to $2.9 billion, mainly due to an increase in the value of Singapore-owned companies in New Zealand. 

After Australia and the United States, the next-largest source of FDI into New Zealand is the Netherlands. Japan, the United Kingdom, and Singapore round out the six largest sources of FDI at 31 March 2012.

Overall, New Zealand had $304.1 billion of overseas liabilities at 31 March 2012, and held $158.5 billion of assets overseas. New Zealand's overseas liabilities are mostly (64.5 percent) in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. On the assets side, 56.0 percent of New Zealand's investment abroad is held in those same three countries.

Most of New Zealand's international liabilities continue to be held by the finance and insurance industry. However, the level of this industry's liabilities has fallen $17.0 billion since 31 March 2009, while public administration liabilities have risen $23.9 billion.

"Changes to the industries holding New Zealand's liabilities reflect overseas investors purchasing government debt securities, instead of banking sector debt securities, over the past three years," Mr Morris said.

See also:
Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: Year ended 31 March 2012 (corrected)  –  Information release