By Julito G. Rada
Foreign portfolio investments yielded net outflows of $309 million in the first quarter of 2023, larger than the $16-million net outflows seen in the same period last year.
Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that March also recorded net outflows of $70 million, smaller than the $531-million net outflows in February.
The BSP said in a statement the March figure resulted from gross outflows of $1.33 billion and gross inflows of $1.26 billion.
Registered investments in March went up by 84.7 percent or $576 million from $680 million in February.
Majority of investments (or 64.6 percent) were in Philippine Stock Exchange-listed securities, mainly in banks, property, holding firms, food, beverage and tobacco and transportation services, while the balance went to investments in peso government securities (35.4 percent) and other instruments (less than 1.0 percent).
The top five investor countries in March were the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Luxembourg and Norway with combined share to total at 86.4 percent.
Portfolio investments are also called “hot money” because of the ease they are invested in and taken out of domestic financial markets.
Foreign portfolio investments posted net inflows of $887 million in 2022, a reversal of the $574-million net outflows in 2021, as fund managers remained confident in the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals despite uncertainties on the external front.