Foreign direct investments for January to August 2018 up by 31%

MANILA, Philippines – Investor confidence in the Philippine economy "remained strong" as foreign direct investments (FDIs) from January to August 2018 soared by 31% at $7.42 billion.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported a dip for the month of August 2018 with only $752 million in FDI net inflows, 17.7% down from July's $914 million. The figure is also 41.2% lower than the $1.28 billion in August 2017.

Despite this, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) noted that year-to-date FDI net inflows still grew by 31% from last year's $5.67 billion.

"Too much hullabaloo is made of the dip in the August FDI inflows, but the more relevant news is that FDIs soared by 31% in the first 8 months of the year compared to the record-setting FDI level last year," Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday, November 14.

An FDI is a type of investment where foreign companies or individuals actually set up business operations or acquire business assets in the Philippines.

The central bank also reported that net equity capital investments grew by 66.2% to $2.55 billion year-to-date. Gross equity capital placements grew to $2.21 billion, while withdrawals amounted to $196 million.

Equity capital placements during the period came mainly from Singapore, Hong Kong, the United States, and Japan.

Over the first 8 months, investments were channeled mostly to firms engaged in manufacturing, financial and insurance, real estate, arts, entertainment and recreation, and electricity, gas, steam, and air-conditioning supply activities.

The DBM attributed this to the progress of the government's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, with as much as P8 trillion ($150 million) to be spent on roads, mass transport, and other capital outlay projects.

"Build, Build, Build is well underway and foreign investors are taking note of our progress," Diokno said.

The budget chief added that curbing the perennial problem of underspending, as well as modernizing the budgetary system to a cash-based one "should strengthen the economy." – Rappler.com

P53.09 = $1

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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