Mining deal boosts November foreign investments by 68%


Posted at Feb 10 2009 05:49 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2009 12:05 AM

The Philippines received $232 million in net foreign direct investments (FDI) in November, 68 percent higher from a year earlier, boosted by the entry of Hong Kong's First Pacific Co Ltd. in a local mining firm, the central bank said on Tuesday.

But FDI inflows in the first 11 months of 2008 fell 41 percent to $1.65 billion from $2.79 billion in 2007 as a slowing global economy deterred new investments.

With the latest data, it seems unlikely the Southeast Asian country will hit the central bank's net FDI forecast of $2.6 billion, slightly lower from $2.7 billion in 2007.

The central bank has yet to give its 2009 FDI estimate.

The central bank said in a statement there was a near four-fold increase in foreign equity capital in November owing to First Pacific's $123 million purchase of a 20 percent stake in Philex Mining Corp, the Philippines' biggest miner.

Foreign equity capital posted a net inflow of $160 million in November against $43 million in the same month of 2007.

The other capital account, mainly loans by local units from their foreign parent firms, registered a net inflow of $52 million in November versus a net outflow of $20 million a year earlier.

FDIs, along with billions of dollars worth of remittances from Filipinos working abroad, are important sources of foreign exchange for the Philippines as they help keep the country's balance of payments in surplus.