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Explaining Foreign Holdings of Asia’s Debt Securities

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Abstract

In this paper, we analyze data on trends since 2000 in foreign holdings of government securities and other debt securities, with emphasis on Japan and developing Asia. We find that foreign residents generally increased their holdings of Asian debt securities during the sample period and in particular during the post-global financial crisis (GFC) period. Meanwhile, foreign holdings of debt securities have been declining in the eurozone. Foreign holdings of short-term debt securities were very volatile during the GFC period (2009–11), with a sharp drop in foreign holdings of short-term Asian debt securities that was followed by a renewed surge. Our empirical analysis suggests that despite the increase in foreign holdings of debt securities its share is still far lower than the optimal portfolio warranted by the capital asset pricing market theory. In other words, foreign investors’ home bias is still strong. The overall increase in foreign holdings of Asian debt securities appears to be driven by relatively stable exchange rates and the higher risk-adjusted returns on the debt securities of the region. Additionally, we find that investors were more “home-biased” during the GFC period and invested less in the markets of the major industrialized economies.

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  • Horioka, Charles Yuji & Nomoto, Takaaki & Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko, 2014. "Explaining Foreign Holdings of Asia’s Debt Securities," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 124, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0124
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    1. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 1992. "Future trends in Japan's saving rate and the implications thereof for Japan's external imbalance," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-330, April.
    2. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    3. Fidora, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel & Thimann, Christian, 2007. "Home bias in global bond and equity markets: The role of real exchange rate volatility," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 631-655, June.
    4. Sato, Ryuzo & Negishi, Takashi (ed.), 1989. "Developments in Japanese Economics," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780126198454.
    5. Horioka, C.Y., 1989. "The Determinants Of Japan'S Saving Rate: The Impact Of The Age Structure Of The Population And Other Factors," ISER Discussion Paper 0189, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    6. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, September.
    7. Adler, Michael & Dumas, Bernard, 1983. " International Portfolio Choice and Corporation Finance: A Synthesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 925-984, June.
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    1. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko & Nomoto, Takaaki, 2015. "Explaining Foreign Holdings of Asia's Debt Securities: The Feldstein-Horioka Paradox Revisited," AGI Working Paper Series 2015-16, Asian Growth Research Institute.

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    Keywords

    Government debt; government securities; government bonds; government bills; government notes; debt securities; debt financing; debt holdings; foreign debt holdings; international capital flows; short-term capital movements; cross-border portfolio investments; safe haven; home bias; capital asset pricing model; optimal portfolios; global financial crisis; eurozone; Japan; developing Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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