5331.0 - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/09/1998   
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11.2. The concept of a financial asset relates to a claim by an entity on another entity. The existence of such a claim generally will be recorded on two balance sheets - that of the issuer of the liability, and that of the holder of the claim as an asset. For example, corporate equities and bonds issued by non-resident enterprises and owned by residents of Australia are recorded as liabilities in the balance sheets of the non-resident issuers and as assets in the balance sheets of the Australian holders. Certain financial assets which are not matched by a liability in another transactor’s books, namely, monetary gold and Special Drawing Rights in the IMF, are also included in these statistics.

11.3. Assets, to be recognised, must represent actual legal claims. Options and other derivative instruments are therefore included in the definition, but authorisations, commitments or extensions of unused lines of credit and contingent obligations are excluded.

11.4. Certain other items are recognised as financial assets. Following from the imputation of change of ownership (see paragraphs 2.25 to 2.27), these include:

      • imputed financial lease claims for goods under a financial leasing arrangement, where the imputed change of ownership in the good is matched by a financial claim (i.e. a financial asset of the lessor and a liability of the lessee) - repayments of such leases are divided into interest and debt components, with the interest being recorded in the investment income part of the current account and the debt reduction as a repayment in the financial account;
      • imputed trade credit for goods sent abroad for processing and return, but which do not return in the same period; these amounts represent a financial claim by the exporting economy on the importing economy;
      • equity of an enterprise in an unincorporated enterprise (a branch) which it has established in another country - the head office is considered to have a financial claim on the branch covering the financial and non-financial assets, less any liabilities, of the branch; and
      • imputed equity claims on immovable assets such as land and structures located in one economy and owned by a resident of another economy - ownership is imputed to a resident entity, in the economy of location, over which the non-resident owner has a financial claim.

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