Highlights of the report include:
The global stock of debt and equity grew by $11 trillion in 2010. The majority of this growth came from a rebound in global stock market capitalization, reflecting new equity issuance and stronger earnings expectations. Net new equity issuance in 2010 totaled $387 billion, and the majority of that issuance came from emerging market companies. Initial public offerings (IPOs) continued to migrate to emerging markets with 60 percent of IPO deal volume occurring on stock exchanges in China and other emerging markets.
The overall amount of global debt outstanding grew by $5 trillion in 2010, with global debt to GDP increasing from 218 percent in 2000 to 266 percent in 2010. But growth patterns varied. Government bonds outstanding rose by $4 trillion while other forms of debt had mixed growth. Bonds issued by financial institutions and securitized assets both declined, while corporate bonds and bank loans each grew.
On-balance sheet loans of financial institutions rose by $2.6 trillion in 2010 (or 5.9 percent). However, this global total hides key differences between regions. Since 2007, outstanding loan volumes in both Western Europe and the United States have been broadly flat with a decline in 2009 followed by a modest increase in 2010. In Japan, the stock of loans outstanding has been declining since 2000, reflecting deleveraging by the corporate sector. Lending in emerging markets has grown at 16 percent annually since 2000—and by 17.5 percent a year in China. Mainland China has added $1.2 trillion of net new lending in 2010 and other emerging markets $800 billion.
Cross-border capital flows grew in 2010 for the first time since 2007, reaching $4.4 trillion, but remain 60 percent below their 2007 peak. This reflects a dramatic reduction in inter-bank lending as well as less foreign direct investment and fewer purchases of debt securities by foreign investors. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this report finds that capital flows to developed countries—not those to emerging markets—are the most volatile.
The world's investors and companies continue to diversify their portfolios internationally. The stock of foreign investment assets grew to $96 trillion, hitting a historical high in 2010—a ten-fold increase since 1990. Of this, central banks had accumulated $8.7 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves by the end of 2010, a sizeable share of the world's financial stock invested in government bonds and other low-risk securities. Foreign direct investment assets reached a new high of $21 trillion, as did the stock of foreign debt securities held by institutional and private investors. Banks have once again expanded their international lending, albeit only by a little, with the stock of cross-border loans returning to its 2007 level at $31 trillion.
Cross-border investment is growing fastest outside the traditional centers of financial wealth. In 1999, the web of cross-border investments centered on the United States, which was partner to 50 percent of all outstanding international financial positions. By 2009, the US share of total cross-border invests had shrunk to 32 percent. This reflected both a surge in cross-border investments within Western Europe following the creation of the euro, and phenomenal growth in the size and complexity of linkages with emerging markets. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, cross-border investments between Latin America, emerging Asia, and the Middle East were growing at 39 percent annually—roughly twice as fast as these regions' investments with developed countries.