July net FDI inflow surges to 5-month high

Posted at 10/10/13 5:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Net foreign direct investment inflows surged 227% to $533 million in July, the highest since February, according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

For the January to July period, net FDI inflows jumped 22% to $2.6 billion from last year.

The increase in net foreign direct investments reflected continued confidence of investors in the Philippine economy on the back of strong macroeconomic fundamentals, the central bank said in a statement.

Net equity capital inflows in January-July declined 52% from last year to $539 million, but investments in debt instruments rose more than four times during the period to $1.6 billion, the central bank said.

The bulk of the net FDI inflows in January-July came from Mexico, Japan, United States, British Virgin Islands and Malaysia. They went into manufacturing, water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation, financial and insurance activities, real estate, recreation, arts and entertainment.

Net foreign direct investment and 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 the year with a BOP surplus of $4.4 billion, the central bank has said, backing views the peso would retain its long-term strength.

Despite robust economic growth, the Philippines has only been able to attract paltry levels of foreign direct investment 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.