Section 8: Metadata

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
November 2009
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8.1 Section 8 presents guidelines on metadata for debt securities statistics. These metadata are complementary to the statistics presented in the tables in Section 7. While quantitative information is useful for assessing the financing activity of residents and non-residents across debt securities markets, it is not sufficient by itself to provide a comprehensive analysis, particularly when comparing national data and constructing global aggregates.

8.2 To properly assess debt securities markets and produce comparable statistics, additional information is required. This reflects, among other things, the range of data sources used to construct debt securities statistics, the various accounting rules under which the data can be produced and the regulations governing the issue of debt securities.

Metadata for debt securities statistics

8.3 There are no specific international guidelines for metadata on debt securities statistics. This Handbook represents a first attempt to fill this gap.

8.4 This section encourages the presentation of three groups of statistical metadata. The first group is specific to debt securities statistics and covers information on the regulatory and supervisory environment in which debt securities are issued in domestic and international markets, as well as about market arrangements. Two additional groups of metadata,35 which are shared by several types of statistics, are also used to accompany debt securities statistics and cover:

  • statistical metadata items that are shared by all financial statistics, and hence by debt securities statistics, and
  • general statistical metadata items shared by all types of statistics.

8.5 Any type of metadata can be specific to individual series or can be attached to a whole group of statistical series. An example of metadata for one debt securities time series is shown in Annex 5. It demonstrates the type of information that can be included in metadata for debt securities statistics.

Specific statistical metadata items for debt securities statistics

Regulatory and supervisory environment

8.6 Each country has developed its own set of regulations governing the issue of debt securities. These regulations are designed to satisfy specific national requirements that have evolved over time and are developed and monitored by a range of national agencies. To enhance the comparability of debt securities statistics, it is crucial that a basic set of information on the regulatory environment is presented with the quantitative statistics. Metadata on the regulatory environment could include:

  • main domestic and international regulations governing the operation of debt securities markets;
  • names of the regulatory organisations responsible for governing debt securities markets;
  • listing and numbering requirements of issuers of debt securities;
  • disclosure requirements for issuers of debt securities, and
  • accounting rules for recording the issuing and trading of debt securities.

Market arrangements

8.7 The coverage of debt securities statistics may also vary across economies due to differences in market operations and arrangements. Metadata on market information could include:

  • trading arrangements for debt securities;
  • clearing arrangements for debt securities, and
  • settlement arrangements for debt securities.

Statistical metadata items shared by all financial statistics

8.8 In addition to the corresponding specific statistical metadata items, debt securities statistics should also take advantage of metadata that are already used in existing databases containing financial statistics. In the metadata listed below, each statistical item is followed by the categories that are recommended by these guidelines.

8.9 Metadata for debt securities statistics should include information relating to the classifications in the detailed tables in Section 7, including:

  • issuer sector: all sectors, non-financial corporations; financial corporations; general government; households and NPISH, or non-residents;
  • issue currency: all currencies, domestic currency, or foreign currencies;
  • issue market: all markets, domestic market, or international markets;
  • maturity: all maturities, short-term maturity, or long-term maturity;
  • term to maturity: original maturity, or remaining maturity;
  • interest rate: all interest rates, fixed interest rate, or variable interest rate, and
  • variable interest: all variable interest rates, inflation-linked, interest rate-linked, or asset price-linked.

8.10 Metadata for debt securities statistics should also include information relating to valuation and accounting rules, including:

  • valuation: nominal value or market value;
  • recording basis: accrual basis;
  • grossing / netting: gross or net;
  • measure: position or flows (transactions – gross issues or redemptions; revaluations; other changes in volume), and
  • accounting system: quadruple-entry bookkeeping.

General statistical metadata items shared by all types of statistics

8.11 Metadata for debt securities statistics should also include information relating to the features of the statistics that are common to other groups of series, including, among others:

  • title;
  • unit of measure;
  • frequency;
  • unit multiplier;
  • decimals;
  • seasonal adjustment;
  • collection reference period;
  • start date;
  • coverage;
  • breaks;
  • data source;
  • methodology;
  • timeliness;
  • revision procedure, and
  • contact details.

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