Institutional investors (investment funds, insurance companies and pension funds) are major collectors of savings and suppliers of funds to financial markets. Their role as financial intermediaries and their impact on investment strategies have grown significantly over recent years along with deregulation and globalisation of financial markets.
This publication provides a unique set of statistics that reflect the level and structure of the financial assets of institutional investors in the OECD countries, and in the Russian Federation. Concepts and definitions are predominantly based on the System of National Accounts. Data are derived from national sources.
Data include outstanding amounts of financial assets such as currency and deposits, securities, loans, and shares. When relevant, they are further broken down according to maturity and residency. The publication covers investment funds, of which open-end companies and closed-end companies, as well as insurance corporations and autonomous pension funds. Indicators are presented as percentages of GDP allowing for international comparisons, and at country level, both in national currency and as percentages of total financial assets of the investor. Time series display available data for the last eight years.
Low growth and huge current account deficits have characterised the Portuguese economy over the past decade.
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Europe has been beset by an interrelated banking crisis and sovereign debt crisis. Bond spreads faced by Greece and Ireland, and to a lesser extent Portugal followed by Spain, have increased. This paper explores these issues from the perspective of financial markets, focusing mainly on the four countries in the frontline of these pressures: Greece and Portugal, on the one hand, where the problems are primarily fiscal in nature; and