By Lee C. Chipongian
The central bank registered $609 million worth of net foreign direct investments (FDI) in January, down by 38.2 percent year-on-year or from $986 million.
Based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data, which monitors FDI as actual investment inflows in the form of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, and borrowings between affiliates, the overall net inflows were lower because of a decline in equity capital placements.
In January, equity capital placements decreased by 65.3 percent to $184 million compared to $531 million same time in 2018.
These FDI came from investors in Mauritius, South Korea, the US, Singapore, and the Netherlands and were invested in these sectors: Financial and insurance; administrative and support services; real estate; electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply; and information and communication industries.
In the meantime, the BSP noted that the increase in equity capital withdrawals to $229 million in January from $58 million same period last year contributed to the decrease in FDI net inflows. “Equity capital withdrawals in January were mainly from Japan,” according to the central bank.
As for net investments in debt instruments – these are intercompany borrowings/lending between foreign direct investors and their subsidiaries/affiliates in the Philippines – this rose by 31 percent year-on-year to $577 million
Reinvestment of earnings, in the meantime, went up by 6.6 percent to $76 million.
Last year, net FDI inflows amounted to $677 million, 4.8 percent lower than end-2017’s $712 million.