ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Net investment position of Slovakia detriorated significantly in 1998

Slovakia's international investment position worsened significantly last year to hit minus 148.7 billion Slovak crowns ($3.42 billion) on December 31, 1998, according to preliminary data from the National Bank of Slovakia. The poor result reflected a 41% growth in foreign loans taken by Slovakia in 1998.

The indicator 'net international investment position' is defined as the difference between the direct, portfolio and other types of investment flowing into a country and the country's total investments abroad. Compared with 1997, Slovakia's 1998 net international investment position worsened by 109.2 billion crowns.

The volume of assets covering direct and portfolio investments abroad and other credit-type investments of Slovak companies abroad grew only slightly at 2% year-on-year in 1998 to 376 billion crowns.

On the other hand, liabilities (including direct, portfolio and other credit-type investments of foreign corporate entities in Slovakia) totalled 524.9 billion crowns at the end of the year, up 116.6 billion crowns (28%) on 1997. Credit investments reported the highest (30%) growth to 414.4 billion crowns. Under credit investments, foreign loans, swelling 259.4 billion crowns (41%), were principally responsible for the overall negative figure.

Slovakia posted a negative net international investment position for the first time in 1997, when it was minus 32.357 billion crowns. In 1996, Slovakia's net investment position was positive at 23.5 billion crowns, while in 1995 this figure was plus 84.6 billion crowns.

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