October net FDI inflows up 66 pct on year

Posted at 01/10/2014 4:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Foreign direct investment inflows to the Philippines jumped 66% in October from the previous year, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.

Foreign direct investments recorded a net inflow of $254 million in October, lower than the previous month's $319 million. That brought total net inflows in the first 10 months of the year to $3.4 billion, up 35%.

The increase in net foreign direct investments reflected favorable investor sentiment on the back of the country's macroeconomic stability amid challenging global economic conditions, the central bank said in a statement.

Equity capital yielded a net inflow of $68 million in October, while investments in debt instruments totaled $135 million from $5 million a year ago.

The equity capital placements came mostly from the United States, Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. They went into manufacturing, transportation and storage, financial and insurance, real estate, mining and quarrying activities.

The central bank expects net foreign direct investments of $2.1 billion in 2013 and $2.6 billion this year. Net FDIs, portfolio inflows, plus remittances from Filipinos working overseas help keep the country's balance of payments (BOP) in surplus.

The Philippines is likely to end 2013 with a BOP surplus of $5.3 billion. The surplus is expected to narrow to $3 billion this year, according to the central bank.

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