FDI inflows soar to 26-month high

Keisha Ta-Asan - The Philippine Star
FDI inflows soar to 26-month high
Data released by the central bank showed net FDI inflows increased by 29.3 percent to $1.36 billion in February from $1.06 billion in the same month last year.
Photo from BusinessWorld

MANILA, Philippines — The net inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI) picked up for a second straight month in February, surging to its highest level in more than two years, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

Data released by the central bank showed net FDI inflows increased by 29.3 percent to $1.36 billion in February from $1.06 billion in the same month last year.

This was the highest in 26 months or since the $2.66 billion recorded in December 2021.

“This development was due to the 927.3 percent expansion in non-residents’ net investments in equity capital (other than reinvestment of earnings) to $764 million from $74 million in February 2023,” the BSP said.

Based on BSP data, equity placements stood at $857 million in February, more than seven times higher than the $74 million a year ago. Withdrawals more than doubled to $93 million from $38 million.

Equity infusions mostly came from the Netherlands (89 percent) and Japan (six percent). Around 91 percent of inflows were channeled into the financial and insurance industry, while five percent of investments were directed to manufacturing.

This was enough to offset the 41.5 percent decline in investments in debt instruments to $533 million from $912 million in February 2023.

These investments were mainly inter-company borrowing between foreign direct investors and their subsidiaries or affiliates in the Philippines.

Likewise, reinvestment of earnings went down by 3.8 percent to $66 million in February from $69 million a year ago.

Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said the surge in FDI inflows was due to improved economic and financial markets performance in February.

Robust economic growth also drove more FDI into the country, he said.

For the first two months of the year, net FDI inflows jumped by 48.2 percent to $2.27 billion from $1.53 billion in the same period last year.

Investments in debt instruments increased by 11.6 percent to $1.35 billion from January to February, while reinvestments of earnings edged higher by 7.4 percent to $165 million.

Equity other than reinvestment of earnings was four times higher at $753 million. This, as the 265 percent jump in placements erased the 115 percent rise in equity withdrawals.

“For the coming months, possible cuts in policy rates later in 2024, if inflation remains well anchored within the inflation target of the central bank, could lead to further improvements in FDIs eventually,” Ricafort said.

The highly-anticipated policy easing by the US Federal Reserve and the BSP is expected to help prop up the global economy this year, following the series of aggressive rate hikes to fight inflation.

Since it started its interest rate liftoff in May 2022, the BSP’s Monetary Board had hiked key policy rates by 450 basis points to tame inflation and stabilize the peso. This brought the benchmark rate to a 17-year high of 6.50 percent, from an all-time low of two percent.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with