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Foreign investments surge 62% in September Date: December 12, 2017
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines continued to book higher foreign direct investments (FDIs) for the fifth straight month, surging 61.8 percent in September on the back of the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals and high growth prospects.

Buoyed by investor confidence in the Philippine economy, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that net FDI inflows reached $754 million in September, $288 million higher than the $466 million recorded in the same month last year.

This was the fifth straight month since April that net FDI inflows have been picking up.

For the first nine months, the BSP said net FDI inflow was steady at $5.84 billion from $5.85 billion in the same period last year. Last year’s data included the P37 billion infusion made by The Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. for a 20 percent stake in listed Security Bank Corp.

BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in a speech during the Philippine Investment Forum organized by Euromoney late last month the country continues to offer viable and strong investment opportunities.

He said the Philippines has recorded 75 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted gross domestic product (GDP) growth with a better-than-expected forecast of 6.9 percent in the third quarter from the revised 6.7 percent in the second quarter.

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“The Philippines is one of the fastest growing investment-grade rated economies in the region,” Espenilla said.

Equity placements, the central bank said, jumped 31.8 percent to $182 million in September from $138 million in the same month last year with infusions coming mainly from the US, Singapore, the Netherlands, China and Japan.

According to the BSP, the fresh funds were channeled to construction; professional, scientific, and technical; manufacturing; real estate; as well as accommodation and food service activities.

On the other hand, withdrawals plunged 37.4 percent to $12 million from $19 million.

The BSP pointed out non-residents’ investments in debt instruments or lending by parent firms abroad to their local affiliates surged 75.2 percent to $513 million in September from $293 million in the same month last year while reinvestment of earnings jumped 68 percent to $59 million from $35 million.

Equity placements fell 34.1 percent to $1.46 billion from January to September compared to

$1.86 billion in the same period last year. Capital investments came primarily from the US, Singapore, Japan, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.

The BSP said more equity was pulled out of the Philippines as withdrawals surged 60.9 percent to $399 million from $248 million.

Despite the plunge in equity other than reinvestment of earnings, the BSP said investments in debt instruments booked a double-digit growth of 13.1 percent to $4.17 billion from $3.69 billion while reinvestments of earnings grew 10.4 percent to $604 million from $548 million.

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 12, 2017 - 12:00am


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