'Hot money' inflows in March biggest in over a year

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 14 2016 05:47 PM

MANILA - More foreign portfolio investments or 'hot money' flowed into the Philippines in March due to renewed investor interest in the country, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. reported that the country booked a net inflow of $482.43 million in March, a complete reversal of the $21.58 million net outflow booked in March last year.

The March net inflow was a turnaround from net outflows of $21.6 million in the same month last year, and the biggest since February 2015, the central bank said.

Around 72 percent of registered investments in March went into the stock market, while the rest went into government securities.

The United Kingdom, Singapore, the United States, Switzerland and Hong Kong were the top five investor countries for March. The United States continued to be the main destination of outflows, receiving more than 80 percent of the total.

Registration of foreign investments with the central bank is voluntary, but is required if investors want to buy foreign currency that is to be sent out of the country.

For 2016, BSP expects $1.3 billion worth of foreign portfolio investments being pulled out of the Philippines due to the volatility in the global financial markets. -- Reuters