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Foreign direct investments up 142% in March '11

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All components of the Philippines foreign direct investments (FDI) posted positive balances in March 2011, resulting to a 142 percent jump in net FDI for the month.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Friday showed that net FDI in the third month of this year amounted to US$ 167 million, way higher than the US$ 69 million in March 2010 as well as the US$ 97 million in the previous month.

Equity capital flows posted a net of US$ 46 million last March, a reversal from year-ago’s US$ 4 million outflows and up from month-ago’s US$ 10 million.
Specifically, placements amounted to US$ 64 million, more than twice the US$ 30 million during the same period last year as well as the US$ 26 million last February.

While withdrawals amounted to US$ 18 million, lower than year-ago’s US$ 34 million, the figure was slightly higher than month-ago’s US$ 16 million.

Reinvested earnings amounted to US$ 25 million, lower than year-ago’s US$ 34 million but higher than month-ago’s US$ 24 million.

The first quarter FDI level this year amounted to US$ 471 million, 16.6 percent lower than year-ago’s US$ 565 million.

The central bank said the drop occurred as “investors remained cautious on account of the uncertainties brought about by the ongoing sovereign debt problems in Europe, the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa regions as well as the disasters that struck Japan.”

Majority of the inflows in the first three months this year was accounted for by the other capital account, which is mostly inter-company borrowing or lending between foreign direct investors and their subsidiaries and their affiliates in the Philippines.

Net other capital account amounted to US$ 277 million in the first quarter this year, 17.8 percent drop from year-ago’s US$ 337 million. Reinvested earnings reached US$ 113 million, 38.3 percent drop over year-ago’s US$ 183 million.

The central bank said reinvested earnings, although lower year-on-year, remain higher “as foreign investors opted to plough back corporate earnings to local enterprises given the Philippine economy's resilience amidst challenging global economic conditions.”

Net equity capital, on the other hand, posted a higher figure of US$ 81 million, or an 80 percent rise over the US$ 45 million registered in end-March 2010.

BSP said these funds, bulk of which came from the United States, Singapore, and Hong Kong, were placed in real estate, manufacturing, and mining and quarrying sectors.

By Joann Santiago - PNA




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