Sat, Jun 16, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Local banks’ exposure to Europe down: central bank

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The central bank expects limited impact from Greece’s elections tomorrow as domestic banks’ exposure to Europe has dropped further, an official said yesterday.

Figures released by the central bank yesterday showed that total international claims held by domestic banks stood at US$202.92 billion as of the end of March, up US$13.22 billion, or 6.97 percent, from the end of last year.

The amount rose mainly because of the increase in the number of banks and their overseas investments, the central bank said in its monthly report.

However, claims on European countries accounted for 31.1 percent of total international claims as of March 31, down from 35.23 percent in the same period last year, the report said.

“This indicates that domestic banks have been gradually lowering the proportion of claims on Europe,” Su Dao-min (蘇導民), deputy head of the central bank’s banking examination department, told a press conference.

As the nation’s banks have low-risk exposure to the PIIGS countries — Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain — the Greek elections will have no major direct impact on domestic banks, Su said.

Claims on the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 34.5 percent, the highest among all areas, while those on the Americas and the Caribbean region stood at 30.11 percent, central bank data showed.

GLOBAL INVESTMENTS

In a separate report, the central bank said that Taiwan’s international investments recorded a net asset position of US$740.6 billion as of the end of last year, increasing by US$94.9 billion, or 14.7 percent, from a year earlier.

A country’s international investment position is the balance of residents’ financial assets and liabilities to the rest of the world.

Taiwan ranked as the fifth-largest net creditor in the world, behind Japan, China, Germany and Switzerland, the central bank said.

The nation ranked the sixth in 2010.

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