- In the fourth quarter of 2015, Israel’s surplus of assets over liabilities vis-à-vis abroad declined by about $4.5 billion (about 6.2 percent), in contrast to the previous three quarters of 2015, in which there was a cumulative increase of about $7.9 billion (12.2 percent). The decline in the surplus during the fourth quarter derived mainly from price changes and changes in the exchange rate that increased the value of outstanding liabilities.
- For the full year of 2015, the surplus of assets over liabilities vis-à-vis abroad increased by $3.4 billion (5.2 percent), to about $68 billion at the end of December. An increase of $17.9 billion (about 5.3 percent) in the value of Israelis’ assets abroad was partly offset by an increase of $14.5 billion (about 5.4 percent) in the value of Israelis’ liabilities to abroad.
- The increase in the value of the asset portfolio derived mainly from a significant flow of direct investments ($9.7 billion, 12.2 percent) and financial investments ($10 billion, 9.4 percent) abroad, and from an increase in foreign exchange reserve assets ($4.5 billion, 5.2 percent).
- The increase in the gross balance of liabilities to abroad derived mainly from the flow of direct investments in Israel ($11.6 billion, 12.4 percent) and from an increase in the prices of shares held by nonresidents ($7.3 billion, about 6 percent).
- In 2015, the gross external debt to GDP ratio declined by 3.9 percentage points, to 30.3 percent at the end of December, in contrast with an increase of 0.9 percentage points in 2014. The decline derived mainly from the decline in gross external debt in parallel with the increase in GDP.
- The surplus of assets over liabilities vis-à-vis abroad in debt instruments alone (negative net external debt) increased in 2015 by about $18.6 billion (18.7 percent), to about $118 billion at the end of the year.
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