The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said positive local developments helped net inflows of foreign direct investments (FDI) to reach a two-month high in March, expanding the year-to-date sum.
Inflows surged by 139.5 percent to $808 million in the third month of 2021, compared to $337 million a year ago, according to central bank numbers released on Thursday. The amount is the most since January’s $961 million.
“March 2021 FDI increased on account of improved investor sentiment amid the gradual resumption of domestic activities, while adhering to the minimum health standards, and government efforts to accelerate the vaccination program,” the BSP said in a statement.
It added that FDI net inflows soared over the period as a result of a considerable increase in non-residents’ net debt investments, which jumped to $380 million from $45 million the previous month.
Net equity capital investments by non-residents picked up by 52.8 percent to $349 million in March 2021, up from $229 million the previous year.
“This developed as equity capital placements expanded by 35.9 percent to $377 million (from $278 million), while withdrawals declined by 42.6 percent to $28 million (from US$49 million),” the Bangko Sentral noted.
The majority of the equity capital investments, it said, came from Singapore, Japan, and the United States, and went to two industries: electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning, and manufacturing.
Reinvestment of earnings also rose by 23.3 percent to $79 million, up from $64 million the year before.
The latest figure supported the January-March tally by 45.1 percent year-on-year to $2.37 billion from $1.63 billion.
“The increase in FDI was mainly due to the 113.2 percent growth in non-residents’ net investments in debt instruments to $1.4 billion from $671 million,” the central bank pointed out.
Reinvested earnings also saw an uptick of 5.4 percent to $225 million from $213 million a year before.
The wider net equity capital investments in March, meanwhile, reduced the year-to-date decline to 4.3 percent from 29.1 percent in February 2021, bringing the total to $721 million.
In the first three months of 2021, equity capital placements totaled $828 million, while equity withdrawals amounted $107 million.
BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA