Cyprus has EU’s largest share of debt held by non-residents

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At 80% Cyprus had the EU’s largest proportion of debt held by non-residents, ahead of Lithuania (76%), Latvia (74%) and Estonia (70%), according to Eurostat data.

The share of government debt held by the resident financial corporations’ sector in 2019 was highest in Denmark (74%), followed by Sweden (73%), Croatia (67%) and Italy (63%).

Generally, across the EU, less than 10% of debt was held by the resident non-financial sectors (non-financial corporations, households and non-profit institutions serving households), with the noticeable exceptions of Hungary (28%), Malta (26%), Portugal (15%) and Ireland (11%).

At the end of 2019, debt securities were the main financial instrument in almost all Member States.

Czechia (92% of total general government debt), recorded the highest percentage, ahead of Hungary, Slovenia, and Spain (all 87%), Malta and France (both 86%).

In contrast, loans largely prevailed in Estonia (88%) and Greece (81%).

The use of loans was also relatively high in Cyprus (41%), Sweden (33%), Croatia (29%), Luxembourg (28%) and Portugal (27%).

Currency and deposits generally made up a relatively small share of debt, except in Portugal (13%), Ireland (11%) and Italy (9%).

With 21% of total government debt having a term below one year, Sweden registered the highest proportion of short-term initial maturities of debt among the Member States, ahead of Portugal (18%), Italy (15%), Hungary and Denmark (both 11%).

At the opposite end of the scale, almost all of the debt (more than 98%) was made up of long-term maturities in Lithuania, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Czechia.

More specifically in Cyprus, the debt to GDP ratio was 95.5% in 2019, held at 80.1% by Non-resident entities (rest of the world), 16.2% resident financial corporations, 3.8% resident non-financial sectors, 2.1% short-term (<1 year), 0.7% in currency and deposits 57.9% in debt securities and 41.4% in loans.

In Greece, the debt to GDP ratio was 176.6% in 2019, 80.6% in loans, 17.5% in debt securities, 2.0% in currency and deposits. 6.2% is short-term.