HC Deb 04 May 1976 vol 910 cc316-7W
Mr. Lee

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated minimum value of the assets that would accrue to the United Kingdom reserves if all overseas fixed assets were to be sold off during the course of the next two years; and what is the estimated minimum of value to the reserves if all privately owned overseas portfolio investments were to be incorporated in them.

Mr. Healey

Estimates of the United Kingdom's direct, oil company and portfolio investments overseas are published in Table 35 of the CSO's Pink Book, "United Kingdom Balance of Payments 1964–74", a copy of which is available in the Library. The 25 per cent. surrender requirement on foreign currency securities yielded a benefit to the official reserves of the order of £180 million in 1975, but no assessment has been made of the possible proceeds of any hypothetical realisation of overseas assets beyond this. There would be neither justification nor need for so extreme an approach. Fully adequate external financing is available through conventiontal channels, and in this connection I have arranged with the IMF for the standby of SDR 700 million —equivalent to about $800 million—to be drawn shortly.