Belgium Can't Get Enough Treasuries

Includes: FXE, TBT, TLT, UDN, UUP
by: Marc Chandler


Belgium has more than doubled its holdings of US Treasuries in the past few months.

It is now the third largest foreign holder of Treasuries behind China and Japan.

It may reflect Brussels role as a financial center.

This Great Graphic was generated on Bloomberg. It depicts Belgium's US Treasury holdings, according to US data. It shows that Belgium's holdings have soared in recent months. As recently as August, it had about $167 bln of US Treasuries.

Data just reported shows its holdings in February jumped another $30.9 bln to $341.2 bln. It is the third largest holder of US Treasuries, behind China and Japan.

We suspect this does not represent a surge of interest from Belgium-based investors. Instead, it appears that the data is picking up the role of Brussels as a financial center. In particular, it is the home of the Euro Clear Settlement hub.

The rise of Belgium's Treasury holdings begs the question then, whose activity does it represent? This might be clearer in revision which, drawn on additional information, has tended to decrease the Treasury holdings attributed to financial centers (such as the UK) and toward the end-buyers (often China and the Middle East oil exporters).

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.