Securities issues

Euro area securities issues statistics are produced by Eurosystem statisticians, based on the principle of decentralisation, in accordance with the commonly agreed framework for producing statistics. The ECB is responsible for providing the aggregated statistics for the euro area, while the dissemination of national datasets is the responsibility of individual euro area countries.

The securities issues statistics cover the issuance of securities other than shares (i.e. debt securities) and of listed shares by euro area residents. The statistics relate to outstanding amounts (stocks), transactions (gross issuance, redemptions and net issuance) and growth rates.

Information on securities issues is an important element in monetary and financial analysis. For borrowers, securities issues are an alternative to bank finance. Holders of financial assets may view securities issued by “non-banks” as partial substitutes for bank deposits and negotiable instruments issued by banks. Over time, shifts between direct finance (through securities markets) and indirect finance (through the banking system) may affect the transmission mechanism of monetary policy, as they may change the euro area's financial structure.

The latest statistics on securities issuance at the euro area level are published in a monthly press release (for publication dates, see the statistical release calendar under Events).

The national breakdowns with the outstanding amounts and transactions of euro-denominated debt securities as well as listed shares are also available. Further detailed national information can be obtained by contacting the respective national central bank.


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Securities issues statistics cover issues by entities resident in the euro area. Issues by foreign-owned entities located in the euro area are also classified as issues by euro area residents. Issues by entities located outside the euro area but owned by euro area residents are treated as issues by non-euro area residents.

Outstanding amounts refers to the stock of securities at the end of the period.

Gross issues covers all issues for cash; gross issues lead to the creation of new instruments and, as such, increase the outstanding amounts.

Redemptions comprises all repurchases by the issuer for cash, whether at maturity or earlier; redemptions lead to the deletion of instruments and thereby reduce the outstanding amounts.

Net issues refers to gross issues minus redemptions during the same period. In principle, net issues correspond to the change in outstanding amounts between two periods, although differences may arise as a result of valuation changes, reclassifications and other adjustments during a particular period.

Growth rates are calculated to monitor historical and recent trends in the issuance of securities by euro area residents broken down by sector, maturity and currency. The growth rates exclude any changes to the outstanding amounts which are not due to transactions.

The euro area securities issues statistics provide a sectoral breakdown of euro area residents issuing securities denominated either in euro or in other currencies. For euro area residents, the sectoral breakdown is in line with the ESA 2010, whenever appropriate and possible, and distinguishes primarily between five types of issuer (the ESA 2010 code numbers are given in brackets):

  • Monetary Financial Institutions (including the Eurosystem), comprising the ECB and the national central banks of the euro area (S.121) and deposit-taking corporations except the central bank (S.122);
  • financial corporations other than MFIs , comprising other financial intermediaries, except insurance corporations and pension funds (S.125), financial auxiliaries (S.126), captive financial institutions and money lenders (S.127) and insurance corporations (S.128);
  • Non-financial corporations (S.11);
  • Central government (S.1311);
  • Other general government, comprising state government (S.1312), local government (S.1313) and social security funds (S.1314).

Additionally, with their joint Handbook on Securities Statistics, the Bank for International Settlements, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund aim to assist national and international agencies in the production of relevant, coherent and internationally comparable securities statistics for use in monetary policy formulation and financial stability analysis. The Handbook is the first publication of its kind dealing exclusively with the conceptual framework for the compilation and presentation of securities statistics. Its first part covers debt securities issues, while its second part refers to debt securities holdings. Existing international statistical standards, such as the System of National Accounts 2008 and the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, sixth edition, provided the basis for the Handbook.

Methodological notes

1. The informational content and usage of securities issues statistics

Securities issues statistics enhance monetary and financial analyses of the euro area. Debt and equity issuance constitutes an alternative to traditional bank financing (see the article entitled “Characteristics of corporate finance in the euro area” in the February 2001 issue of the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin). Holders of financial assets view securities issued by “non-banks” as partial substitutes for bank deposits and negotiable instruments issued by banks. Securities issues statistics therefore complement monetary statistics. Over time, shifts between direct finance (through securities markets) and indirect finance (through the banking system) may affect the transmission mechanism of monetary policy and change the financial structure of the euro area. A sectoral breakdown of securities issuance highlights the relative importance of public and private sector demand on capital markets and helps to account for movements in market interest rates, particularly in the case of medium to long-term maturities. Data on the outstanding amount of securities also indicate the depth of capital markets. Furthermore, information on securities issues denominated in euro (by euro area residents and non-residents) is used to assess the role of the euro in international financial markets.

2. The concepts behind securities issues statistics

The Eurosystem’s national central banks collectively cover all securities issuance by euro area residents.

The securities issues statistics for the euro area are published in a monthly press release six weeks after the end of the reference month. They are also published in the Statistical Annex to the ECB’s Economic Bulletin. Further detailed euro area statistics and the main national statistics, as well as historical statistics, seasonally adjusted series and growth rates, are released in the ECB's Statistical Data Warehouse. The time series starts in December 1989 (in January 1990 for flows).

Securities issues statistics are broken down into debt securities and equity securities.

Debt securities issues are further broken down according to currency denomination (“euro denominations” or “other currencies”), maturity (short-term and long-term) and sector, of which there are eight. “Stocks” refers to outstanding amounts and “flows” to gross issuance, redemptions and net issuance. For long-term debt securities, statistics are available separately for fixed and variable coupon debt securities. Finally, statistics on all non-euro area residents’ debt securities issued in euro are reported by the Bank for International Settlements. The growth rates and seasonally adjusted statistics for debt securities are available for the individual breakdowns where relevant.

Listed shares are broken down into stocks and flows statistics covering four sectors, together with the corresponding growth rates.

Table 1: Overview of the statistics published

Debt securities issues statistics by euro area residents
Stock & Flows
Listed shares issued by euro area residents
Stock & Flows
Currency Sector Maturity Coupon type  
In euro 8 sectors 2 bands 2 types 4 sectors
In other currencies 8 sectors 2 bands 2 types 4 sectors
Totals 8 sectors 2 bands 2 types 4 sectors

3. Legal framework

The Eurosystem’s national central banks report national securities issues data on a monthly basis in accordance with Part 12 of Annex II of ECB Guideline ECB/2014/15 on monetary and financial statistics (ECB/2014/43).

Securities issues statistics conform to the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) whenever appropriate and possible.

4. Geographical breakdown

The euro area securities issues statistics presented in the ECB’s publications relate to all current euro area countries for all reference months. This also includes historical periods prior to January 1999.

Issues by subsidiaries owned by the reporting country’s non-residents operating in the reporting country’s economic territory must be classified as issues by the reporting country’s resident units. Issues by head offices that are located in the reporting country’s economic territory and that operate internationally must also be considered as issues by resident units. Issues by head offices or subsidiaries located outside the reporting country’s economic territory but owned by residents of the reporting country must be considered as issues by non-residents.

5. Classification of issues

Securities are classified into two broad groupings: (i) debt securities, i.e. securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (ESA 2010 category F.3), and (ii) listed shares (ESA 2010 category F.511) excluding shares/units issued by money market funds and other investment funds.

Debt securities comprise financial assets which are in principle negotiable and may be traded on secondary markets. This type of security does not grant the holder any ownership rights in the issuing entity. Money market paper and, in principle, private placements are included in the debt securities statistics.

Listed shares comprise all financial assets which represent property rights in a corporation or quasi-corporation. These financial assets generally entitle the holder to a share in corporate profits and also to a share in net assets in the event of liquidation. Listed shares include all shares with prices listed on a recognised stock exchange or other form of regulated market.

6. Sectoral breakdown

Issues are classified according to the sector in which the issuer is active. The sectoral classification and related aggregations are shown in Table 2 below.

Table 2 Securities issues statistics sectoral breakdown (the ESA 2010 classifications are given in brackets)

Sectoral aggregation in securities issues statistics
Total economy Monetary financial institutions ECB/national central banks (S.121)
Deposit-taking corporations except the central bank (S.122)
Non-monetary financial institution corporations Non-financial corporations (S.11)
Other financial intermediaries, except insurance corporations and pension funds (S.125), financial auxiliaries (S.126), captive financial institutions and money lenders (S.127)
Insurance corporations (S.128)
General government Central government (S.1311)
State government (S.1312)
and Local government (S.1313)
Social security funds (S.1314)
International organisations (S.2000)

Government sector (the ESA 2010 classification is given in brackets)

The government sector refers to the “general government” (S.13), as defined in the ESA 2010. It consists of (i) institutional units which are non-market producers, whose output is intended for individual and collective consumption, and which are financed by compulsory payments made by units belonging to other sectors and (ii) institutional units principally engaged in the redistribution of national income and wealth.

The general government sector consists of the following ESA 2010 sectors:

  • Central government (S.1311), comprising all administrative departments of the state and other central agencies whose competence extends normally over the whole economic territory, except for the administration of social security funds.
  • State government (S.1312), comprising those types of public administration that are separate institutional units and that exercise some of the functions of government, except for the administration of social security funds, at a level below that of central government and above that of the governmental institutional units existing at local level.
  • Local government (S.1313), comprising those types of public administration whose competence extends to only a local part of the economic territory, apart from local agencies of social security funds.
  • Social security funds (S.1314), comprising central, state and local institutional units whose principal activity is to provide social benefits and for which the following two criteria apply:
    1. by law or by regulation certain groups of the population are obliged to participate in the scheme or to pay contributions towards it; and
    2. general government is responsible for the management of the institution in respect of the settlement or approval of the contributions and benefits independently from its role as supervisory body or employer.
    There is usually no direct link between the amount of the contribution paid by an individual and the risk to which that individual is exposed.

Monetary financial institutions (the ESA 2010 classification is given in brackets)

Monetary financial institutions comprises the central bank (S.121) and deposit-taking corporations except the central bank (S.122):

  • Central bank (S.121) comprises all financial corporations and quasi-corporations whose principal function is to issue currency, to maintain the internal and external value of the currency and to hold all or part of the international reserves of a country. The sector “central bank” also includes the European Central Bank.
  • Deposit-taking corporations except the central bank” (S.122) comprises all financial corporations and quasi-corporations, except those classified in the central bank and money market funds subsectors, which are principally engaged in financial intermediation and whose business is to receive deposits or close substitutes for deposits from institutional units, hence not only from monetary financial institutions, and, for their own account, to grant loans or make investments in securities.

Financial corporations other than MFIs and non-financial corporations (the ESA 2010 classification is given in brackets)

Financial corporations other than monetary financial institutions and non-financial corporations consist of:

  • Other financial intermediaries, except insurance corporations and pension funds (S.125), which comprises all financial corporations and quasi-corporations that are principally engaged in financial intermediation by incurring liabilities in forms other than currency, deposits or investment fund shares, or in relation to insurance, pension or standardised guarantee schemes from institutional units.
  • Financial auxiliaries (S.126), which comprises all financial corporations and quasi-corporations that are principally engaged in activities closely related to financial intermediation but which are not financial intermediaries themselves.
  • Captive financial institutions and money lenders" (S.127), which comprises all financial corporations and quasi-corporations that are neither engaged in financial intermediation nor in providing financial auxiliary services, provided that most of their assets or liabilities are not transacted on open markets.
  • Insurance corporations (S.128), which comprises all financial corporations and quasi-corporations that are principally engaged in financial intermediation as a consequence of the pooling of risks mainly in the form of direct insurance or reinsurance.
  • Non-financial corporations (S.11), which comprises institutional units that are independent legal entities and market producers and whose principal activity is the production of goods and non-financial services. The non-financial corporations sector also includes non-financial quasi-corporations.

7. Currency breakdown

The currency of issuance is defined as the currency in which the security is denominated. Securities issues statistics for the euro area cover both securities denominated in euro and securities denominated in other currencies.

Euro-denominated issues includes issues originally denominated in the national currencies of those EU Member States that have since adopted the single currency, as well as items expressed in ECU. More generally, they refer to euro-denominated issues or to any remaining issues expressed in the former national currencies of the euro area countries.

Securities denominated in other currencies refers to all other issues that do not fall under the euro-denominated issues category.

Dual currency bonds, must be classified according to the denomination of the bond. Dual currency bonds are defined as bonds that are scheduled to be redeemed, or the coupon paid, in a currency other than that in which the bond is denominated. If a global bond is issued in more than one currency, each portion must be reported as a separate issue, according to its currency of issue. Where issues are denominated in two currencies, e.g. 70% in euro and 30% in US dollars, the relevant components of the issue must be reported separately, where possible, according to the currency of denomination. Hence, in the given example, 70% of the issue must be reported as “issues in euro/national denominations” and 30 % as “issues in other currencies”. Where it is not possible to separately identify the currency components of an issue, the actual breakdown made by the reporting country must be indicated in the national explanatory notes

Quoted shares are euro-denominated as they are issued in the currency of the country of residence of the corporation; issues of shares in other currencies are negligible or non-existent. Hence, the data on quoted shares refer to all issues by euro area residents.

8. Maturity breakdown

Debt securities are broken down into short-term securities and long-term securities.

Short-term debt securities comprise securities that have an original maturity of one year or less, even if they are issued under longer-term facilities. All other issues, including those with optional or indefinite maturity dates, are classified as long-term.

Long-term debt securities comprise securities that have an original maturity of more than one year. Issues with optional maturity dates, the latest of which is more than one year away, and issues with indefinite maturity dates, are classified as long-term. Long-term debt securities issues are divided into:

  • Fixed interest rate debt securities – debt securities which are issued and redeemed at par value and debt securities issued at a discount or premium to their par value.
  • Variable interest rate debt securities – debt securities whose coupon rate and/or underlying principal is linked to a general price index for goods and services (such as the consumer price index), an interest rate, or an asset price resulting in a variable nominal coupon payment over the life of the issue. For the purposes of securities issues statistics, mixed interest rate debt securities are classified as variable interest rate debt securities.
  • Zero coupon bonds issued at discount – instruments that have no interest payments and are issued at a considerable discount to par value. Most of the discount represents the equivalent of the interest accrued during the life of the bond.

9. Stocks and flows

Outstanding amounts cover all outstanding securities that have been issued, i.e. newly created, for cash by the reporting entity. The outstanding amount also includes issues that may have been issued by another reporting entity in the past for cash but have been assumed or taken over as liabilities thereafter by the reporting entity.

The outstanding amounts of listed shares must cover the market value of all the listed shares of resident entities. The outstanding amounts of listed shares reported by a euro area country may therefore increase or decrease following the relocation of a listed entity. This also applies in the event of a takeover or merger, where no instruments are created and issued for cash and/or redeemed against cash and cancelled.

If a company is privatised, with the government keeping some of the shares while the rest are quoted on a regulated market, the whole value of the company’s capital must be recorded under the outstanding amounts of listed shares, since all shares could potentially be traded at any time at market value. The same applies if some of the shares are sold to large investors and only the remaining ones, i.e. the free float, are traded on the stock exchange.

Gross issues during the reporting period must include all new debt securities and listed shares issued for cash These gross issues involve the regular creation of new instruments. In the case of listed shares, gross issues cover newly created shares that are issued for cash by corporations listed on a stock exchange for the first time, including newly-created companies or private companies becoming public companies.

Gross issues also cover newly created shares that are issued for cash during the privatisation of public corporations when the corporation’s shares are listed on a stock exchange. The issue of bonus shares must be excluded. Gross issues must not be reported in the event of a sole listing of a corporation on a stock exchange when no new capital is raised.

In addition, gross issues also cover secondary/seasoned public offerings of additional newly created shares when the issued capital is funding the issuing company.

Securities issues that can later be converted into other instruments must be recorded as issues in their original instrument category. On conversion they are to be recorded as having been redeemed from this instrument category with an identical amount and then treated as gross issues in a new category[2] .

An issue is considered to have occurred when the issuer receives payment (payment date) and not when the issuer counterparty or syndicate takes up the commitment (trade date).

Redemptions during the reporting period cover all repurchases of debt securities and listed shares by the issuer, in which the investor receives cash for the securities. Redemptions concern the regular deletion of instruments. They cover all debt securities reaching their maturity date, as well as early redemptions. Company share buy-backs are covered if the company either repurchases all shares for cash prior to a change of its legal form or repurchases part of its shares for cash and subsequently cancels them, leading to a reduction in capital. Company share buy-backs are not covered if they represent investments by a company in its own shares.

Redemptions must not be reported in the event of a sole de-listing from a stock exchange.

Net issues are the balance of all gross issues minus all redemptions that have occurred during the reporting period.

10. Valuation method

The value of securities issues comprises a price component and, when issues are denominated in currencies other than the reporting currency, an exchange rate component.

Debt securities are reported at nominal value and listed shares are reported at market value. An exception to the recording of stocks and flows of debt securities at nominal value is made in respect of deep-discounted and zero coupon securities, issues of which are recorded at the effective amount paid, i.e. the discounted price at the time of purchase, redemptions at maturity at nominal value and outstanding amounts at value including accrued interest.

11. Index and growth rates

Growth rates are calculated from transactions and outstanding amounts and used to calculate an index of adjusted outstanding amounts (e.g. notional stocks). Further details on the calculation of growth rates are available in the Technical Notes of the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin.

12. Seasonal adjustment

Seasonal adjustment is the process of estimating and removing seasonal effects from a time series. Seasonally adjusted data therefore facilitate the analysis of short-term dynamics and the identification of changes in trends. The general principles followed by the ECB in the seasonal adjustment of time series are laid down in the ECB’s publication Seasonal adjustment of monetary aggregates and HICP for the euro area .

The approach for seasonally adjusting securities issues statistics is a multiplicative decomposition using the Census X-12-ARIMA method, Version 0.2.10. Outliers are taken into consideration in order to minimise distortions to the estimated seasonal components.

The seasonally adjusted data for outstanding amounts, net issues and growth rates of securities issues are based on seasonal adjustments of indexes which reflect the changes in outstanding amounts caused by transactions (i.e. the net issues). This approach is consistent with the current procedures for seasonally adjusting monetary aggregates.

To ensure the additivity of the seasonally adjusted components to the seasonally adjusted aggregates, the seasonally adjusted series for the total securities issues are derived indirectly from the breakdowns by sector and maturity. A direct adjustment of the total is regularly carried out for monitoring purposes. The difference between direct and indirect estimates is generally negligible. The seasonal factors are re-estimated annually.

No seasonal adjustment for listed shares data is undertaken, as no significant seasonal variation exists for these series.

[1] According to the ESA 95, paragraph 5.22, some flexibility with respect to the maturity breakdown is permitted, i.e. in exceptional cases short-term securities have an original maturity of two years, such as for treasury bills with an original maturity period of 366 days.

[2] Considered as two financial transactions; see paragraphs 5.96 and 6.25 of the ESA 2010 methodology and Section 5(a)(ii) of the Part 12 of Annex II of ECB Guideline ECB/2014/15, as amended.

Financial Markets Survey

Financial Markets Survey

The annual Financial Markets Survey (FMS) collects basic quantitative financial market information (market size and activities) on securities for non-euro area EU countries. The combination of the euro area securities issues statistics and the FMS makes it possible to analyse the structure of the securities market within the European Union. On an annual basis, non-euro area EU national central banks provide the ECB with statistics on outstanding amounts and gross issues of debt and equity securities. These national data (presented in euro as well as in domestic currencies) give an indication of how financial and non-financial sectors within an economy are seeking direct finance on the securities market.

The aggregation of the securities issues statistics for euro area countries and the FMS allows for the compilation of EU aggregates of short-term and long-term debt securities issued for various sub-sector breakdowns including Monetary Financial Institutions, Other Financial Institutions and Non-Financial Corporations. In the same way, it also allows for the compilation of an EU aggregate for equity securities issued.

National data as well as aggregates for the euro area and the European Union may be accessed in the Statistical Data Warehouse.

For more information on the coverage of the data please see the Methodological notes.