By Lee C. Chipongian
The central bank registered $1.9-billion worth of net foreign direct investments (FDI) as of end-March, 15.1 percent lower compared to same time last year of $2.3 billion due to a drop in net equity capital.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in a statement said the first quarter net equity capital declined by 66.7 percent year-on-year to $295 million from $887 million. The equity capital placements decreased by 42.9 percent to $568 million from $996 million same time in 2018, while withdrawals was up by 150.7 percent to $273 million from only $109 million in the previous year.
The BSP said equity capital infusions came from investors in Japan, China, the US, Singapore, and South Korea. These investments were placed in these sectors: Financial and insurance; real estate; transportation and storage; manufacturing; and administrative and support service industries.
As of end-March, net investments in debt instruments increased by 18.6 percent to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion in 2018. Net investments in debt papers are mainly loans extended by parent companies abroad to their local affiliates here.
Reinvestment of earnings, in the meantime, was up by 11.3 percent to $234 million from $211 million.
For the month of March only, net FDI inflows were down by 13.9 percent to $586 million from $681 million same period last year.
The BSP attributed the March decline to lower net equity capital investments, as placements dropped to $126 million from $351 million same time in 2018.
Equity capital placements during the month came mostly from Japan, US, Singapore, and the Netherlands, and were invested in manufacturing, real estate, accommodation and food service, wholesale and retail trade and arts, entertainments and recreation industries.
The BSP said non-residents’ investments in debt instruments rose by 35.8 percent to $399 million from $294 million last year while reinvestment of earnings increased by 14.4 percent year-on-year to $80 million.