Balance of Payments

Relevance

The Balance of Payments (BoP) systematically summarizes all economic transactions between residents and non-residents of Malta during a given period.  The Balance of Payments provides harmonized information on international transactions which are part of the current account (goods, services, primary income, and secondary income); as well as on transactions which fall in the capital and the financial account.  BoP data are used for calculation of indicators needed for the monitoring of macroeconomic imbalances such as the share of BoP and International Investment Position (IIP) items in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The methodological framework followed in the compilation of the Balance of Payments is that defined in the sixth edition of the International Monetary Fund Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6) published in 2009, which was implemented in the EU as from September 2014.  The data is also compiled in terms of the EC Regulation No. 184/2005 as well as subsequent amendments.

Methodological description

BoP data are collected through direct reporting (DR) surveys and complemented by administrative sources. Such data are used for all statistics related to BoP including Coordinated Portfolio Investment, Direct Investment in Malta and Abroad, International Economic and Financial Transactions, and the International Investment position of Malta.

The DR system is based on a stock/flow/income model, covering all financial instruments (including income), as well as service and transfer transactions of the enterprises. No reporting for goods transactions is requested since these are obtained through national trade statistics.

The top companies operating in the non-financial sector are surveyed on a monthly or quarterly basis, and a larger number of companies are surveyed annually.  Nine different questionnaires have been designed: a general questionnaire and eight questionnaires for specific transactions: those of shipping companies, airline companies, ship-building/repairing and remote gaming companies.  The surveys are received either by post or electronically.

The financial sector is surveyed in a monthly census by the Central Bank of Malta conducted for banks, domestic insurance companies, collective investment schemes (CISs), money market funds, and exchange bureaux.  Main insurance agents are surveyed on a monthly basis and the rest annually.  Main CISs are surveyed on a quarterly basis and the rest annually.  All CISs are asked to report monthly their net asset value. 

Other source data include information on real estate transactions provided by the Acquisition of Immovable Properties Division at the Treasury Department and on balance sheets of companies provided by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

Accuracy and reliability of data

As for all direct reporting systems, the efficiency of the Maltese data compilation system is based on the coverage of questionnaires.  In the compilation process, formal checking and vetting of DR survey forms are carried out on a regular and systematic basis. Information obtained from the DR survey is also checked against other sources of available information.  These include data from banks, companies’ balance sheets, as well as media reports.  Data are also verified using automated quality and consistency checks incorporated in a software module.  Annual checking is also carried out manually, using mainly companies’ balance sheets obtained from the MFSA website.  Inconsistencies within data submitted by respondents are immediately investigated directly with respondents.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

The ‘International Economic and Financial Transactions’ news release is published quarterly and gives a summary of the current, capital and financial account, featuring main headlines. 

The ‘Direct Investment in Malta and Abroad’ news release is published bi-annually and gives a breakdown of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Malta and abroad, depicting both flows and stock positions.The ‘Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey’ (CPIS) is published annually and gives a breakdown of portfolio investment assets by sub-components, equity and debt securities, as well as by country where the assets are held.

News releases are published as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar.  The quarterly BoP news releases are released about eighty-five days after the lapse of the period being reported upon.  The bi-annually FDI news releases cover reference periods January-June and January-December and are published in the following February and August respectively.  The CPIS news releases for a particular reference year t are published in October of year t+1.

BOP data is transmitted to Eurostat on a quarter or annual basis.  These are submitted in accordance with the deadlines shown in Annex I of EC Regulation No. 184/2005.

Accessibility and clarity of data

All news releases are published on the NSO’s website.   

From year 2001 to 2003 three publications on BOP data were released on the NSO’s website and covered reference periods 1995 to 2003.

A quality report is submitted to Eurostat on a yearly basis by not later than end of May.  A metadata report is also made available on the NSO’s metadata website.

Coherence and comparability / consistency of data

Data are comparable across all European Union Member States as harmonised methodological frameworks (BPM6 and Council Regulation (EC) No. 184/2005) are adopted for compiling the data.

The BOP data is comparable as from 1995 onwards.  However, conversion to BPM6 guidelines has only been performed to data back to 2004, resulting in a break in series.  As from 2004 onwards, data are available in thousands of euro.  Previous periods are recorded in thousands of Lm (Maltese Lira).

BoP data can be related with data published by National Accounts Unit and with the aggregate figures on imports and exports of goods published by International Trade Statistics Unit.

 
 
Remote Gaming Companies  Questionnaire_V12.1 |  GuidelinesV12.1
The remote gaming companies questionnaire (also referred to as the BOP 12 questionnaire) should be filled on an annual basis with details of all the economic and financial transactions conducted by the reporting entity in its name or on a consolidated basis during a calendar year. The questionnaire should include all transactions listed in the Trading, Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet of the entity; and broken down by country. General

Companies BOP10B SME   2014 -  2015 |  Guidelines 
The Companies questionnaire is to be filled in by companies undergoing various types of transactions (or having balances) with non-residents. It should be filled on an annual basis with details of all the economic and financial transactions conducted by the reporting entity in its name or on a consolidated basis during a calendar year.

Resident Airlines BOP20 SME   2014 -  2015 |  Guidelines 
The Resident Airlines questionnaire is to be filled in by companies owning or chartering aircraft, and which have transactions or balances with non-residents. It should be filled on an annual basis with details of all the economic and financial transactions conducted by the reporting entity in its name or on a consolidated basis during a calendar year. It is essential to provide transactions and balances broken down by country.

Non-Resident Airlines BOP21 SME   2014 -  2015 |  Guidelines​ 
The Non-Resident Airlines questionnaire is to be filled in by agents of foreign airlines on an annual basis with details of the economic and financial transactions conducted by the reporting entity during a calendar year. It is essential to provide transactions and balances broken down by country.

Resident Shipping Lines BOP22 SME   2014 2015 |  Gui​delines
The Resident Shipping Lines questionnaire is to be filled in by companies owning or chartering seacraft, and which have transactions or balances with non-residents. It should be filled on an annual basis with details of all the economic and financial transactions conducted by the reporting entity in its name or on a consolidated basis during a calendar year. It is essential to provide transactions and balances broken down by country.

Non-Resident Shipping Lines BOP23 SME   2014 2015 |  Guid​elines 
The Non-Resident Shipping Lines questionnaire is to be filled in by agents of foreign shipping lines on an annual basis with details of the economic and financial transactions conducted by the reporting entity during a calendar year. It is essential to provide transactions and balances broken down by country.

Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Companies BOP40 SME   2014 2015 |  Guidelines
The Shipbuilding and Ship Repair questionnaire is to be filled in by companies involved in shipbuilding and/ or repair of seacrafts, and which have transactions or balances with non-residents. It should be filled on an annual basis with details of all the economic and financial transactions conducted by the reporting entity in its name or on a consolidated basis during a calendar year. It is essential to provide transactions and balances broken down by country.

External Statistics and National Accounts Survey   Questionnaire |  Reporting Guide
The External Statistics and National Accounts Survey is an annual questionnaire to be filled by all undertakings (except remote gaming companies) that are registered locally but whose main economic activity is carried out in another economic territory. Figures reported in the questionnaire are to be based on the company’s latest audited or management accounts and should be quoted in thousands of Euro. You are kindly requested to consult the guidelines to properly fill in the questionnaire but in case of any difficulty we encourage respondents to contact the Balance of Payments unit at the NSO on 2599 7269.

​sources and methods

Balance of Payments

 

Contact Information: 

 
Ms Lara Friggieri Cordina
Head of Unit​​​
2599 7260
bop.nso@gov.mt