PHL registers USD354-M net hot money inflow in 2016

MANILA, -- Investor confidence in the Philippine economy remains, as shown by the reversal to net inflows of foreign portfolio investments in the country in 2016.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Thursday showed that foreign portfolio investments, otherwise known as hot money due to the speed it comes in and out of an economy, registered a USD353.59 million net inflow, a turn-around from the USD599.69 million net outflow in 2015.

Last year's net hot money inflow is better than the central bank's USD1.1 billion net outflow assumption for that year.

The central bank traced the net inflows to the initial public offering by an industrial company, investments in shares of two holding companies and a universal bank, and renewed interest in peso-denominated government securities (GS).

Cemex Holdings Philippines raised a total of PHP25.13 billion in the local equities market in July 2016.

In April 2016, Japanese banking giant Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU) finalized its purchase of a 20 percent stake in Security Bank Corp. (SecurityBank) through a PHP36.9 billion investment.

Total hot money inflows last year amounted to USD17.57 billion, lower than the USD19.93 billion in the same period in 2015.

The bulk of these came from the United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, Luxembourg and Hong Kong, which accounted for 76.7 percent of the total inflows.

Total outflows in 2016 were also lower at USD17.22 billion compared to the USD20.53 billion in end-2015, which was attributed to concerns on the hikes in the Federal Reserve's interest rates.

The BSP said most of these withdrawals went to the US, which accounted for 83.1 percent of the total. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency