The International Investment Position (IIP) shows the position of foreign assets and liabilities, by instrument, at the end of a particular period. These are classified under direct investment; portfolio investment; financial derivatives; other investment; and reserve assets. The IIP at the end of a specific period reflects the financial transactions, valuation changes, and other adjustments, denoted by instrument.
The IIP is compiled according to the guidelines of the ECB – European Union Balance of Payments/International Investment Position Statistical Methods as amended in July 2013. Moreover concepts and definitions are based on the methodology of the 6th edition of the IMF Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6). The data is also compiled in terms of the EC Regulation No. 184/2005 as well as subsequent amendments.
IIP data are derived from the BoP data are collected through the direct reporting (DR) surveys and complemented by administrative sources. 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 by the Central Bank of Malta in a monthly census 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 Investment Position of Malta’ news release is published annually as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar. Data for a particular reference year t is published in March of year t+1.
Data is transmitted to Eurostat on a quarterly 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.
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).