Financial corporations held almost half (49.8 pct) of Romania's government debt last year, while non-residents accounted for 46.3 percent and resident non-financial entities for 3.9 percent thereof, shows data released on Monday by the EU statistical office Eurostat.
Significant differences were noticeable in 2019 across the EU regarding the sector that held government debt. The highest share of public debt held by non-residents was recorded last year in Cyprus (80 pct), followed by Lithuania (76 pct), Latvia (74 pct) and Estonia (70 pct). By contrast, the highest proportion of the government debt held by financial corporations was in Denmark (74 pct), Sweden (73 pct), Croatia (67 pct) and Italy (66 pct).
Last year, less than 10 pct of the debt across the EU was held by the resident non-financial sectors (non-financial corporations, households and non-profit institutions serving households), with the exception of Hungary (28 pct), Malta (26 pct), Portugal (15 pct) and Ireland (11 pct).
At the end of 2019, debt securities were the main financial instrument in almost all EU member states. The highest percentages were recorded in the Czech Republic (92 percent of the total government debt), Hungary, Spain and Slovenia (all with 87 percent), Malta and France (both with 86 percent).
Conversely, loans largely prevailed in Estonia (88 pct) and Greece (81 pct). The use of loans was also relatively high in Cyprus (41 pct), Sweden (33 pct), Croatia (29 pct), Luxembourg (28 pct) and Portugal (27 pct). Currency and deposits generally accounted for a relatively small share of debt, except in Portugal (13 pct), Ireland (11 pct) and Italy (9 pct).
With 21 pct of the total government debt having a term below one year, Sweden recorded the highest percentage of short-term initial maturities of debt among the member states in 2019, ahead of Portugal (18 pct), Italy (15 pct), Hungary and Denmark (both with 11 pct). At the opposite end of the scale, almost all of the debt (more than 98 pct) was made up of long-term maturities in Lithuania, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.