Foreign direct investments in PH continue to strengthen in February

Rappler.com
Foreign direct investments in PH continue to strengthen in February
The country's central bank governor says this reflects investor confidence in the country’s sound macroeconomic fundamentals and growth prospects

MANILA, Philippines – Strong foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the country continued in February this year, surging by 46.4% to $573 million from $392 million in the same period last year, data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

“The sustained investment inflows reflect investor confidence in the country’s sound macroeconomic fundamentals and growth prospects,” BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr said in a statement on Thursday, May 10.

Investments mainly from Hong Kong, the United States, China, the Netherlands, and Japan jumped by 44.3% to $114 million in February this year, from $79 million in the same month a year ago, BSP data showed.

Withdrawals during the month, however, also inched up by 3.7% to $18 million, from $17 million in February 2017. (READ: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas hikes interest rates for first time since 2014)

These factors pushed FDI inflows to reach $1.49 billion for the first two months of the year,  $515 million higher than the $978 million recorded in the same period last year.

The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.8% in the 1st quarter of the year, higher than the 6.4% recorded in the same period in 2017, and from the revised 6.5% in the 4th quarter of 2017.

Had inflation remained benign, the country’s GDP growth would have reached the government target of 7% to 8% for the year.

For the 1st two months of 2018, equity placements reached $645 million or over 4 times of the $150 million recorded in the same period in 2017.

These investments were channeled mainly to manufacturing; financial and insurance; real estate; art, entertainment and recreation; and electricity, gas, steam, and air-conditioning supply activities, said BSP.

But withdrawals of foreign investments also jumped by 150% to $76 million in the 1st two months of the year, from $30 million in the same period a year ago.

The Philippines has booked record high FDI inflows for two straight years – $10.05 billion in 2017, and $8.28 billion in 2016. 

The country’s central bank expects foreign direct investments to hit $8.2 billion this year. – Rappler.com

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