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August 13, 2008

Philippines sees first FDI outflow of $95m in May
Philippines’ central bank reported a net foreign direct investment outflow of $95 million in May as the first net outflow in 11 months, due to increasing investor caution over a global economic slowdown, said Reuters on Tuesday.

The month’s FDI outflow eventually resulted in a total FDI in the first five months of this year to a net inflow of $725 million, far below the net inflow of $2.3 billion in the same period of 2007.

“The investment environment turned more cautious due to concerns about global financial market fragilities and the downturn in many advanced economies, including the United States,” the central bank said in a statement published late on Monday.

The net outflow in May was largely due to loan repayments made by local corporations to their foreign investors and lower loan draw-downs by local subsidiaries from their parents, the statement said.

Inflows in the first five months of the year came largely from Japan, the United States, Singapore, Germany, Malaysia and South Korea.

These inflows were channelled mainly to manufacturing, particularly shipbuilding and auto electronic parts and components, services, mining, construction real estate, and financial institutions.

The central bank previously cut its estimate for total foreign direct investment this year to $2.6 billion from the original $4.2 billion forecast, and little changed from last year’s $2.7 billion last year.

In June, the central bank cut its forecast for the country’s balance of payments surplus this year to $2.5 billion from the original projection of $3.4 billion, way below last year’s surplus of $8.6 billion.

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