Net FDI inflows up 55 pct in November

Reuters

Posted at Feb 10 2014 03:08 PM | Updated as of Feb 10 2014 11:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Foreign direct investments recorded a net inflow of $286 million in November, 55% higher than the net inflow figure in the same month in 2012, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.

That brought net inflows in the 11 months to November to $3.6 billion, up 37% from last year.

The increase in net foreign direct investments reflected sustained investor confidence in the growth prospects of the economy, the central bank said in a statement.

The economy grew nearly twice as fast as expected in the last three months of 2013 from the third quarter despite a devastating typhoon, suggesting growth will remain robust this year and buffer the country from further turmoil in global emerging markets.

Equity capital yielded a net inflow of $7 million in November, while investments in debt instruments rose more than two-fold to reach $225 million from $108 million a year ago.

The equity capital placements came mostly from the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore. They went into manufacturing, electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply, real estate, mining and quarrying and wholesale and retail trade activities. The central bank expects net foreign direct investments of $2.1 billion in 2013 and $2.6 billion this year.

Net FDI, portfolio inflows, plus remittances from Filipinos working overseas help keep the country's balance of payments (BOP) in surplus. The Philippines ended 2013 with a BOP surplus of $5.09 billion, slightly lower than the central bank's $5.3 billion forecast. The surplus is expected to narrow to $3 billion this year.

Despite robust economic growth, the Philippines has only been able to attract paltry levels of FDI compared with its Southeast Asian peers due to poor infrastructure, high power costs and restrictions on foreign ownership in major industries and land acquisition by foreigners.