Over $1 billion in hot money flees Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Almost $1.1 billion in hot money or speculative funds flew out of the Philippines in the first 8 months of the year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

From January to August, the country's foreign portfolio investment outflows already reversed the net inflow of $602 million in the same period last year.

Portfolio investments are referred to as hot money, as they move regularly and quickly between financial markets. Compared to foreign direct investments, portfolio investments are short-term and are very sensitive to internal and external developments.

Inflows jumped by 9.5% to $11.7 billion from January to August, but were still lower than the 27% climb of outflows worth $12.8 billion.

Some of the international developments affecting the figures include the ongoing United States-China trade war, inversion of the US Treasury yield curve, and heightened protests in Hong Kong.

The BSP also noted that the outflows come as the Philippines missed its gross domestic product target in the 2nd quarter of the year.

For August, net outflows amounted to $391.7 million, reversing the net inflow of $225.9 million in the same month last year.

During the month, 75.7% of investments registered were in listed securities at the Philippine Stock Exchange, while 24.3% went to investments in peso government securities.

The United Kingdom, Singapore, United States, Malaysia, and Hong Kong were the top 5 investor countries for August. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.