Asia continues to dominate foreign purchases of US treasuries. The latest estimate show China, Japan, and Hong Kong represented the bulk of treasury purchases from abroad in Q1 2012.
JPMorgan: The estimates highlight that foreign investors purchased over $150 bn of coupon Treasuries in the first quarter partly funded by a decline in their holdings of Treasury bills. This represents over 60% of net coupon issuance, a significantly larger share than normal. January and February TIC Data released by Treasury this week, moreover, suggests that buying was especially strong in Asia with mainland China, Hong Kong, and Japan together accounting for 80% of net foreign purchases compared to a long term average of 52%. The apparent return of China to the Treasury market during 1Q12 should, for the time being, have generated a welcome sigh of relief by Treasury officials as this large investor sold nearly 10% of their Treasury holdings in 4Q12