China reclaims spot as world’s biggest holder of Treasuries

WASHINGTON • China reclaimed its position as the top foreign owner of US Treasuries after increasing its holdings for the fifth straight month.

China’s holdings of US bonds, notes and bills rose to US$1.15 trillion (RM4.94 trillion) in June, up US$44.3 billion from a month earlier, according to Treasury Department data released on Tuesday in Washington. Japan owned US$1.09 trillion, a decrease of US$20.5 billion from its total in May. Japan had overtaken China in October as the largest holder of American government bonds, the figures showed. The two countries account for more than a third of all foreign ownership of Treasuries, which gained by US$47.7 billion in June to US$6.17 trillion, the figures showed.

China’s foreign-exchange reserves rose for sixth straight month to US$3.08 trillion in July. Stricter capital controls and a stabilising currency this year have eased outflow pressures as policymakers encourage foreign investors to channel more money into the country. The yuan has climbed nearly 4% against the dollar this year, after declining about 7% in 2016.

Belgium’s ownership of Treasuries, often seen as a home to China’s custodial accounts, fell in June to US$98.3 billion. — Bloomberg