Foreign direct investments hit a record $2.2 billion in April, following the acquisition of a 20-percent stake in Security Bank Corp. by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.
This brought the total net inflows of foreign direct investments to $3.5 billion in the first four months, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Monday.
Data from Bangko Sentral showed net inflows of foreign direct investments in April surged 476 percent from $382 million registered a year ago, following the fresh investments made by BTMU and other foreign banks in the Philippines.
Rosabel Guerrero, director of Bangko Sentral’s department of economic statistics said the April FDI figure was a record high on a monthly basis, “from the time we adopted BPM5 [Balance of Payments Manual, 5th Edition].”
Bangko Sentral said investors remained optimistic in the Philippines “as the economy continued to post strong growth and show even better growth potentials.”
The April figure also exceeded the March net inflow of $364 million. This brought net FDI in the first four months to $3.5 billion, up from $1.233 billion a year earlier.
“The bulk of the net inflows during the month was in the form of debt instruments, or lending by parent companies abroad to their local affiliates to fund existing operations and business expansion, which amounted to $1.3 billion, more than four times the $276 million a year ago,” Bangko Sentral said.
Net equity capital placements amounted to $825 million, as gross equity capital placements surged 20 times to $839 million from $39 million, while withdrawals remained low at $13 million.
Most equity capital placements came from Japan, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany and Taiwan. These were channeled to financial and insurance, real estate, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and administrative and support service activities.
Reinvestment of earnings by non-resident investors stood at $74 million during the month.
Security Bank said in April it received a capital investment of P36.9 billion from BTMU representing 20 percent ownership of the voting stock in Security Bank. BTMU is now the second largest shareholder of Security Bank, while the Dy Group remains the biggest shareholder with majority voting control.
FDI net inflows hit $5.72 billion in 2016, missing the official target of $6 billion, on lower reinvestment of earnings and debt instruments.
Bangko Sentral said earlier it expected net inflows of foreign direct investments to reach $6.3 billion in 2016, on the back of improving global economic conditions and robust domestic economy.
Bangko Sentral said earlier the implementation of various private-public partnership projects, particularly in infrastructure, would give a strong signal to investors, boosting their confidence to invest in the country.
Bangko Sentral’s statistics on foreign direct investments cover actual investment inflows, which could be in the form of equity capital, reinvestment or earnings and borrowings between affiliates.