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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

September 10, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant volatility in the prices of global financial assets and foreign exchange rates.  

As of Q2 2020, Canada had a positive net international investment position (at market value) of $1,102.2 billion.  This consistent of Canadian-held assets abroad worth $5,827.5 billion and Canadian liabilities to asset-holders abroad valued at $4,725.3 billion.   The recent rebound in asset and liability values is associated with recovering equity prices as major stock markets reported significant gains in Q2.

Recent volatility in the value of Canada's net international investment position is attributable to large movements in equity prices associated with COVID-19 shocks.  This volatility affects Canada's international more than it does Canada's international liabilities.


Canada's international assets abroad consist 68 per cent of equity (either direct investment or portfolio investment).  Debt, bonds, loans, currency/bank deposits make up the bulk of the rest of Canada's international asset position.  In contrast, Canada's liabilities to asset-holders abroad consist more of debt (direct debt, bonds, money market securities and currency/bank deposits) than of equity, which only accounts for 39 per cent of liabilities.  

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table  36-10-0485-01   International investment position, book and market values, quarterly (x 1,000,000)


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