(Adds details of foreign investment and property transactions)
LONDON Oct 7 A 10 percent "flash crash" in
sterling on Friday was the latest sign of how far Britain's
impending exit from the European Union has rattled financial
markets, with the UK's currency, stocks and government bonds all
falling for a second straight day.
With a current account deficit of nearly 6 percent of
economic output, Britain is highly reliant on foreign
investment. Here is a closer look at overseas holdings of its
main financial assets:
* Around 5 percent of the world's known central bank foreign
currency reserves are in British pounds, the equivalent of more
than $350 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund.
That is the third largest holding, behind U.S. dollars (63
percent) and euros (20 percent).
* More than half of UK stocks are held by overseas
investors, according to Britain's Office for National Statistics
(ONS). Foreign holdings were less than 10 percent in the 1970s
and 1980s, and stood at around 35 percent at the turn of the
* Nearly a third of investors in British government bonds
are from outside the country, ONS data shows. That equated to
500 billion pounds' worth at the end of June.
* Direct investment into the UK by enterprises located
abroad has risen steadily over the past 30 years, with the only
major blip occurring during the 2008 financial crisis, according
to ONS data.
* Foreign investors accounted for around 45 percent of the
value of total transactions in British commercial property since
2009, although that tailed off quite sharply in the first half
of this year, the Bank of England has said.
"An abrupt reduction in the willingness of foreign investors
to engage in new investment could also have a severe impact on
asset markets in which foreign investors account for a
substantial proportion of transactions," the BoE said in its
latest financial stability report.
(Writing by John Geddie; Graphics by Vikram Subhedar and John
Geddie; editing by Giles Elgood)