By Lee C. Chipongian
Foreign portfolio investments or hot money registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) posted net inflows of $340 million in February, lower than the previous month’s $763 million.
The BSP said February’s net inflows was due to investor optimism stemming from US-China trade talks which seemed progressing, and the passage of the tariffication law that is expected to “help boost the rice supply in the country and thereby temper inflation.”
Compared to same time in 2018, hot money net inflows this year is better than the $529-million net outflows last year.
During the period, listed securities had net inflows of $175 million while peso government securities had $162 million. Other peso debt instruments (OPDIs) amounted to a net inflow of $3 million.
Based on central bank data, registered investments for February was at $1.4 billion, down by 31.6 percent from $2.1 billion last January.
Registered inflows rose by 34.9 percent compared to same period in 2018.
About 77.4 percent of investments registered in February were in listed securities such as banks, holding firms, property companies, food, beverage and tobacco companies, and transportation companies.
Around 22.4 percent were invested in peso government securities and 0.2 percent in OPDIS.
Outflows, in the meantime, totaled $1.1 billion in February, and this was 17.6 percent lower than January’s $1.3 billion and by 32 percent compared to February 2018’s $1.6 billion.
“The US continued to be the main destination of outflows, receiving 80.3 percent of total remittances,” said the BSP.
The BSP also reported that the top five investing countries are the United Kingdom, the US, Singapore, Luxembourg, and Norway with combined investments equivalent to 67 percent.