Net FDI rises, ‘positive outlook’ cited

NET foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows grew by 27 percent to $682 million in March from a year earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Monday.

The result — also higher than February’s $574 million — brought the first quarter tally to $2.175 billion, up 43.5 percent year-on-year.

“This reflected investors’ continued positive outlook on the Philippine economy on the back of sound macroeconomic fundamentals and robust growth prospects,” the BSP said in a statement.

March’s inflows were traced to a significant expansion in net equity capital inflows that rose to $318 million, with placements of $351 million more than offsetting the $33 million in withdrawals.

“Equity capital infusions came mostly from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, and Sweden,” the central bank said.

Reinvestments of earnings increased by 12.6 percent to $63 million from a year ago.

Meanwhile, non-residents’ net placements in debt instruments issued by local affiliates or intercompany borrowings decreased by 36.1 percent to $301 million during the period.

Net FDI inflows in the first quarter of the year, the BSP said, were driven largely by a 586-percent growth in net investments in equity capital.

Net investments in equity capital reached $887 million from $129 million in the comparable 2017 period as gross placements of $996 million more than compensated for withdrawals of $109 million.

Equity capital infusions during the period came mainly from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Taiwan, and were invested in manufacturing; financial and insurance; real estate; arts, entertainment and recreation; and electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities.

Net investments in debt instruments reached $1.1 billion, a decrease of 8.2 percent from the previous year.
Reinvestments of earnings were steady at $193 million, the BSP said.

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