Balance of international payments and international investment position

Glossary

Accrual accounting
Revenues and expenses are reflected in the accounts in the period in which they are earned or expensed and not necessarily when cash receipts or disbursements occur (cash accounting). Accrual accounting is used to compile the balance of payments.
Affiliate
Business entity which is owned from 10% to 100% by another business entity. Depending on the level of ownership, affiliates are classified as associates or subsidiaries or branches.
Associate
Business entity which is owned from 10% to 50% by another business entity.
Balance of payments (BOP)
A statistical statement that systematically summarizes, for a specific time period, the economic transactions of a country with the rest of the world.
Bonds, debentures, notes
These are debt securities issued by borrowers to finance their operations. They are sold to investors with the promise that they will be repaid with interest by the end of a specific period. Bonds, debentures and notes can be part of direct or portfolio investment in the balance of payments and international investment position, depending on the relationship between the issuer and the holder.
BOP
See Balance of Payments.
Branch
Business entity that is unincorporated and is owned by another business entity.
Canadian financial assets
Regrouping of all Canadian financial claims on non-residents in the financial account of the balance of payments and in the international investment position. Financial assets are further classified to direct, portfolio and other investment.
Canadian financial liabilities
Regrouping of all non-resident financial claims on Canadian residents in the financial account of the balance of payments and in the international investment position. Canadian financial liabilities are further classified to direct, portfolio and other investment.
Capital account
A principal account of the balance of payments that records acquisitions /disposals of non-produced, non-financial assets (i.e. intellectual property rights such as patents and tangible assets such as embassy land). Also included are capital transfers that redistribute savings or wealth (i.e., migrants’ assets, debt forgiveness and inheritances).
Centre of economic interest
This is the basis for defining residency of transactors for the balance of payments. The BOP measures transactions between residents and non-residents. A person or business is said to be a resident of a country if it has a centre of economic activity as evidenced by the location of a persons principal residence or where they produce, invest and earn revenues.
Change in ownership
A change in ownership occurs when an asset has been received or a service / income is provided. Generally it is deemed to have occurred when the two parties (resident and non-resident) record the transaction in their respective books or accounts.
Credit
A credit represents a receipt on the current account (for example, the exports of goods or services), a decrease in assets or an increase in liabilities. A credit is displayed with a plus sign (+) in the balance of payments. See double entry accounting.
Current account
Main account of the balance of payments which covers all transactions (other than those in the capital and financial account) that involve exchange of economic values (goods, services and investment income) and transfers of current economic value with no quid pro quo.
Debit
A debit represents an expense on the current account (for example, the imports of goods or services), an increase in assets or a decrease in liabilities. A debit is displayed with a minus sign (-) in Canada’s balance of payments with the exception of current account payments. See double entry accounting.
Debt
Financial claim that refers to lending of funds by a creditor (lender) to a debtor (borrower). Debt comprises securities (generally marketable) and other debt instruments (generally not marketable). Debt can be part of direct, portfolio or other investment depending upon the relationship between the issuer and the holder.
Debtor / creditor principle
There are two principles that may serve as the basis for geographic allocation of direct investment financial flows: the debtor/creditor principle and the transactor principle. Under the debtor/creditor principle, transactions resulting from changes in financial claims of the compiling economy are allocated to the country of residence of the non-resident debtor, and transactions resulting in changes in financial liabilities are allocated to the country of residence of the non-resident creditor, even if the amounts are paid to or received from a different country. See also transactor principle.
Deposits
Financial claims including bank deposits, deposit notes, certificates of deposits and all other claims reflecting evidence of deposits, including currency. Largely associated with Canadian banks, deposits are part of other investment in the balance of payments and international investment position.
Direct investment
Functional classification in the financial account of the balance of payments and in the international investment position which refers to an investment of a resident entity in one country obtaining a lasting interest in an enterprise resident in another country. The lasting interest implies the existence of a long-term relationship between the direct investor and the enterprise and a significant degree of influence by the investor on the management of the enterprise.
Direct investment enterprise
An incorporated or unincorporated enterprise in which a direct investor, who is resident in another country, owns 10% or more of the ordinary shares or voting power (for an incorporated enterprise) or the equivalent (for an unincorporated enterprise). A direct investment enterprise is made up of related entities which can be in the form of associates, subsidiaries and branches.
Discount
Difference between the issue price and the maturity value of a security (e.g., a bond) when the issue price is lower than the maturity value. This difference is treated as interest and is recorded, on an accrual basis, as investment income in the balance of payments.
Dividends
Earnings on current activities distributed to equity holders of incorporated private enterprises, cooperatives and public corporations. This income item is recorded in the current account under portfolio investment or direct investment.
Double entry accounting
Basic accounting convention whereby each recorded transaction is represented by two entries, a credit and a debit, with equal values. This convention is used in compiling the balance of payments statement.
Equities
Equities comprise common and preferred shares (stocks), which represent a share in the ownership of the company. In addition, the following are also considered as equities: depository receipts, most units of mutual funds, income trusts and warrants. Equities can be part of portfolio investment or direct investment in the balance of payments or international investment position depending upon the relationship of the issuer and the holder.
Financial account
A principal account of the balance of payments that records transactions in financial instruments which represents Canada’s financing and investing activities with the rest of the world. Transactions are presented under three functional classes: direct, portfolio and other investment.
Financial derivatives
Financial derivatives are financial instruments that are linked to a specific financial instrument or indicator or commodity, and through which specific financial risks can be traded in financial markets in their own right. Their value derives from the price of the underlying item (i.e., the reference price) and, unlike debt instruments, no principal amount is advanced to be repaid and no investment income accrues. Examples are futures, forwards, options, warrants and swaps.
Financial instruments
Financial instruments encompass securities (generally marketable) and other financial instruments (generally non-marketable). Financial instruments can be part of direct, portfolio or other investment in the balance of payments or international investment position depending upon the instrument and the relationship between the issuer and the holder.
Fully consolidated basis
The basis of reporting for Canada's balance of payments and international investment position. Entities are surveyed for their inward and outward direct investment data on a fully consolidated basis. As such, survey data, as a matter of principle, cover all directly and indirectly owned subsidiaries, associates and branches.
Geographical area
In Canada's balance of payments and international investment position, foreign countries are grouped by six regions: United States, United Kingdom, Other European Union (EU), Japan, Other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Other Countries (inclusive of international institutions).
IIP
See International Investment Position.
Income trust units
Unit holders in an income trust receive regular cash distributions from an entity created to pay out the cash flow generated by a business. Income trust units are treated as equities in Canada’s balance of payments.
Institutional investors
Organizations that typically buy and sell securities in very large quantities. Institutional investors face less protective regulations because it is assumed that they are more knowledgeable and better able to protect themselves. Major Canadian institutional investors are pension funds, mutual, segregated and pooled funds as well as the general funds of insurance companies.
Interest
Interest is the amount that the debtor owes or pays to the creditor over a given period of time without reducing the amount of principal outstanding, under the terms of the financial instrument agreed between them.
International investment position (IIP)
The IIP is a country’s balance sheet of the stock of financial assets and liabilities with the rest of the world. Together with the balance of payments transactions, the IIP constitutes a country’s set of international accounts.
Investment income
Investment income can arise from holdings of equity or debt as part of direct, portfolio or other investment. The equity income comprises profits/ losses on direct investment and dividends on portfolio stocks, while debt income includes interest from direct, portfolio and other investment.
Issue price
The issue price represents the proceeds received by the issuer when issuing a security.
Issuing sector
The issuing sector of a financial instrument refers to the classification of the issuer of a security. In Canada's balance of payments / international investment position, Canadian issuers are classified to one of the following: Government of Canada direct, federal enterprises, provincial direct, provincial enterprises, municipal direct, municipal enterprises or corporations. Foreign issuers are classified to governments, international organizations or other.
Loans
Financial claims that refer to direct lending of funds by creditors (lenders) to debtors (borrowers) through arrangements in which the lenders may or not receive a negotiable document or instrument. Loans are treated as other investment in the balance of payments / international investment position.
Market price
It is a valuation based on what willing buyers pay to acquire something from willing sellers; the exchanges are made between two independent parties and on the basis of commercial considerations only. Market price is used as the basis of the valuations for transactions.
Maturity date
Date at which time a security (such as a bond) is redeemable.
Maturity value
The maturity value of a security is the amount the issuer will pay the holder of a security at the date of redemption of the security. It is often referred to as par value, face value or redemption value.
Monetary gold
This is an official international reserves asset item in the other investment category. It refers to gold owned by monetary authorities and is held as a financial asset. Transactions in the BOP are recorded only when monetary gold is transacted between monetary authorities in different countries or between monetary authorities and the IMF.
Monetization and demonetization of gold
Monetization refers to the acquisition by the monetary authorities of commodity gold to increase the stock of monetary gold. Demonetization refers to the disposal by the monetary authorities of monetary gold for non-monetary purposes. While these acquisitions or sales will increase or decrease a country’s official reserve assets, the transactions are not recorded in the BOP under reserve assets. However, when a country’s monetary authorities buy or sell gold with the private sector of a foreign country, then those transactions will be recorded in both countries trade statistics.
Money market securities
These are marketable debt securities with an original term to maturity of one year or less. Included are instruments such as treasury bills, commercial paper, finance company paper, bankers' acceptances, bearer demand notes of banks and other short-term paper. Money market securities are part of portfolio investment in the balance of payments / international investment position.
Mutual fund
A diversified portfolio of securities invested on behalf of a group of investors and professionally managed. Individual investors own a percentage of the value of the fund represented by the number of units they purchased and thus share in any gains or losses of the fund. Depending on the objectives of a fund, its assets can include equity, debt or other financial instruments.
New issue
A new issue is an equity or debt offering issued for the first time. For Canadian balance of payments purposes, new issues are restricted to only those amounts sold in foreign markets.
Non-monetary gold
Under trade-in-goods in the current account, non-monetary gold is treated like any other commodity. That is, it is recorded in a country’s imports and exports. Gold bought and sold between different countries’ monetary authorities is recorded in the financial account under reserve assets.
Non-produced, non-financial assets
Examples are intangibles such as patents, copyrights, trademarks and franchises and tangible assets such as embassy land. These are included in the capital account.
Non-resident
A person or business is said to be a non-resident of a country if they have a centre of economic activity that is outside the country. See resident.
Other assets / Other liabilities
Other assets and other liabilities are classes of the other investment functional category in the balance of payments / international investment position. They include claims that are not loans or deposits.
Other investment
Functional classification in the financial account of the balance of payments and in the international investment position that covers loans, deposits, reserves (assets only) and other assets / other liabilities.
Outstanding issue
Securities traded on secondary markets after having been issued.
Participating preferred share
A type of preferred share where the investor has some entitlement to a share in the profits, or a share of any surplus on dissolution of the issuer. Participating preferred shares are treated as equities in Canada’s balance of payments.
Portfolio investment
Functional classification of the financial account and the international investment position which refers to an investment of a resident entity in one country into equity and debt securities of another country undertaken for the sake of investment income or capital gains. Unlike direct investors, portfolio investors have no significant influence on the operation or management of the enterprises in which they invest.
Premium
Amount of money associated with the difference between the issue price and the maturity value of a security when the issue price is greater than the maturity value. This difference is treated as negative interest and is recorded, on an accrual basis, as investment income in the balance of payments.
Profits
Profits refer to current earnings of enterprises measured net of income or corporation taxes payable without penalty during the recording period. Profits are treated as investment income on the equity portion of direct investment in the balance of payments.
Reinvested earnings
Reinvested earnings are direct investors' share of earnings from their foreign investments that are not distributed. These earnings (or losses as the case may be) are recorded in the current account of the balance of payments under investment income. They are also recorded in the financial account of balance of payments under direct investment, since they represent an increase in investment (or a decrease in the case of losses.)
Repurchase agreements (Repos)
A repurchase agreement is an arrangement involving the sale of securities at a specified price with a commitment to repurchase them at a fixed price at a future date. They are usually very short-term (overnight or one day) but can range up to a month or more. Repos are treated as loans backed by securities and classified under other investment in the balance of payments and international investment position.
Reserve assets
Claims on non-residents that are readily available to and controlled by monetary authorities. They are used for the conduct of a country’s monetary policy. Reserves are part of other investment in the balance of payments / international investment position.
Reserve position in the fund
Reserve asset item that refers to the sum of the reserve tranche purchases that a member may draw upon and any indebtedness of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that is readily repayable to the member.
Resident
A person or business is said to be a resident of a country if they have a centre of economic activity as evidenced by the location of a person’s principal residence and where they produce, invest and earn revenues.
Retirements
Transactions in securities that represent the amount of capital reimbursed by the issuer at the date of maturity of the securities.
SDR
See special drawing rights.
SPE
See special purpose entities.
Secondary market
Established security exchanges or over-the-counter (OTC) markets where purchases and sales of outstanding securities take place among investors.
Securities
Financial instruments that are marketable, such as publicly traded stocks, bonds, money market securities and other financial instruments. Securities are part of direct and portfolio investment in the balance of payments / international investment position depending upon the direct or portfolio relationship of the issuer and the holder.
Securitization
Pooling of non-traded assets for the purpose of issuing standardized securities backed by those assets, which can then be traded like any other security.
Services
Refers to products which are generally intangible and which cannot be traded separately from their production as they are generally consumed by the time their production is completed. Services are summarized in the Canadian data under four headings: travel, transportation, commercial and government services.
Shares
See equities.
Special drawing rights (SDRs)
Reserve asset item created by the IMF to supplement other reserve assets that are periodically allocated to IMF members in proportion to their respective quotas. Value of SDRs is determined by a weighted basket of currencies. Transactions in SDRs are recorded in the financial account.
Special purpose entities (SPEs)
These entities are usually established in countries other than those in which the parent companies are resident, and are engaged primarily in international transactions. SPEs are defined according to either their structure (e.g. holding company) or their purpose (e.g. sales and administration). In the balance of payments, these entities are treated as direct investment enterprises, assuming they meet the 10 percent ownership criterion.
Statistical discrepancy
A current account surplus or deficit should correspond to an equivalent outflow or inflow in the capital and financial account. In other words, the two accounts should add to zero. In fact as data are compiled from multiple sources, the two balance of payments accounts rarely equate. As a result, the statistical discrepancy is the net unobserved inflow or outflow needed to balance the accounts.
Stocks
See equities.
Strip bonds or zero coupon bonds
Usually high quality federal or provincial government bonds originally issued in bearer form, where some or all of the interest coupons have been detached. The bond principal and any remaining coupons (the residue) then trade separately from the strip of detached coupons, both at substantial discount from par.
Subsidiary
Business entity which has more than 50% of the ordinary shares or voting power (for an incorporated enterprise) or the equivalent (for an unincorporated enterprise) owned by another business entity.
Term to maturity
Fixed period of time corresponding to the lifetime of a security. The term to maturity corresponds to the period of time between the date at which the security is issued (original term to maturity) or is outstanding (remaining term to maturity) and the date at which the security is redeemable (maturity date).
Transaction
Economic flow that reflects the creation, transformation, exchange, transfer or elimination of economic value. Transactions that involve change of ownership of goods, services, investment income or financial claims are recorded in the balance of payments. Balance of payments transactions and valuation changes modify the international investment position from one period to the next.
Transaction value
Value that refers in a broad sense to the actual prices (or market prices) agreed upon by transactors and is generally used to record transactions in the balance of payments. In the absence of a market price, for example when there is a direct exchange of goods, rather than money, for other goods, substitute measures have to be estimated usually by analogy with known market prices of equivalent transactions.
Transactor principle
There are two principles that may serve as the basis for geographic allocation of financial flows: the debtor/creditor principle and the transactor principle. Under the transactor principle, transactions resulting from changes in the claims and liabilities are allocated to the country of residence of the non-resident party to the transaction (the transactor), even if this is not the country of residence of the direct investment enterprise or direct investor. (See also debtor/creditor principle.)
Valuation
The determination of asset, liability and transaction values. Different methods of valuation include transaction value, market price, issue price, book value, market value, maturity value, etc. and they often reflect applicable accounting principles, legal restrictions and tradition, as well as theoretical considerations.
Zero coupon bonds
See strip bonds or zero coupon bonds.
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