Bank of Italy released its latest government debt statistics. Government debt holdings by sector are included on page 11. Stock numbers for June 2011 onwards are presented in the following table:
* Data refer only to securities (millions of €)
Its is quite evident that both Bank of Italy and domestic MFIs increased their holdings substantialy during 2011. Bank of Italy posted an additional increase of €10.8bn during the first two months of 2012 and domestic MFIs used LTRO funding substantialy by acquiring another €24.3bn of securities in January. Other residents did not change their holdings much, although there were some marginal swings up and down after August. On the other hand, foreigners were strong sellers of government debt securities, reducing their portfolio by more than €94bn during 2011 (unfortunately no data is available for 2012).
The following graphs depict changes more clearly, especially of the different paths for MFIs and other domestic financial institutions:
It seems that only the central bank and domestic banks support their government’s debt, with foreigners being very strongly risk averse and lowering their holdings by more than 10% in 6 months.