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Foreign direct investment stock statistics

Balkendiagramm Primary and secondary direct investment (stocks) [+] Foreign direct investment stock statistics provide information on capital links arising from residents’ participating interest in a foreign enterprise or those of non-residents in a German enterprise at a specific point in time.

Dissemination practice

Data on international capital links are published in the Special Statistical Publication 10 "Foreign Direct Investment Stock Statistics" which appears annually in the spring (in April). The most recent edition contains data on the previous four years. In accordance with our revision practices, the results as of the most recent reporting date are provisional.
Selected information for the current year as well as for earlier years can be obtained from our time series data-base.
In addition, developments in German enterprises’ international capital links are commented on in our Monthly Report or in a press release.

Methodological notes

According to international standards, foreign direct investment is defined as cross-border participation in the capital or voting rights of an enterprise of 10% or more. A distinction is made between foreign direct investment transactions (or flows, see balance of payments) and stocks. The balance of payments statistics are based on market values at the time of the transaction. Stock data are calculated from the foreign direct investment enterprises' balance sheet data. The foreign currency balance sheets of the investment enterprises abroad are converted into euro at the average currency exchange rate on the balance sheet date. This means that German FDI stock data are subject to exchange rate fluctuations vis-à-vis the euro.

Foreign direct investment comprises capital – possibly less subscribed capital unpaid – plus pro rata capital and revenue reserves, plus pro rata profit carried forward or less pro rata loss carried forward, plus pro rata annual profits or less pro rata annual losses. These components constitute the equity capital. Moreover, credit relationships with investors as well as cross-border credit relationships with other affiliated enterprises are included in the calculations.

For the first time with the publication in April 2015 (Special Statistical Publication 10 "Foreign Direct Investment Statistics", April 2015) foreign direct investment stocks were presented in detail from the end of 2010 onwards based on the new internationally harmonised calculation requirements of the OECD Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment, 4th edition. In a departure from the previous gross figures, loans to investors and cross-border affiliated loans are deducted. Affiliated loans in both directions are allocated according to the domicile of the group’s headquarters. Thus, if the group's headquarters are domiciled in Germany, the affiliated credit relationships of the enterprises in Germany are counted as positive (in the case of lending) or negative (in the case of borrowing) German foreign direct investment abroad, which is referred to as outward foreign direct investment. If the group's headquarters are domiciled abroad, the affiliated loans of the enterprises in Germany are recorded as positive (borrowing) or negative (lending) foreign direct investment in Germany, which is also called inward foreign direct investment.

Detailed methodological notes on the calculation as well as the presentation of primary and secondary foreign direct investment stocks are available in Special Statistical Publication 10 in the sections headed "Notes" and "Methodological notes".

Data sources

External sector reporting serves as the basis for compiling external sector statistics. Each year, all resident banks, enterprises, individuals and public authorities participating in external transactions are required to report detailed data on their cross-border equity investment (foreign direct investment) should the investment enterprises’ balance sheet total exceed €3 million (or its equivalent). These reporting requirements are anchored in section 11 (3) of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (Außenwirtschaftsgesetz) together with sections 64 and 65 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Regulation (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung). The data are used for statistical purposes only. Pursuant to section 11 (5) of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act in conjunction with section 16 of the Act on Statistics for Federal Purposes (Gesetz über die Statistik für Bundeszwecke), all individual data are subject to statistical confidentiality.