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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs             13  July 2011

FDI slows in Philippines

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Uncertainty in the recovery of developed economies tempered business sentiment, resulting in a slowdown in foreign direct investments (FDI) to the Philippines, the central bank said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it registered net FDI inflows of US$81 million in April, or 4.7 percent lower than the $85 million in the same month in 2010.

The reinvested earnings yielded net inflows of $55 million, up more than fivefold from the $8 million registered in April last year. The other capital accounts yielded net inflows of $6 million from $20 million last year.

Net equity capital infusion amounted to $20 million, down 64.9 percent from $57 million in April 2010.

Last April's net inflows brought the year-to-date figure to $552 million, down 15.1 percent from the $650 million in the same four-month period in 2010.

"The lower inflows were due to the generally sluggish growth in advanced economies, particularly Japan and the United States," BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.

He added that cautious sentiment amid heightened uncertainties, as a result of the euro zone sovereign debt crisis in some parts of Europe and the social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa region, also prevailed.

According to the central bank, the country remained a recipient of foreign funds despite investors' risk-averse position on account of the Philippines' strong macroeconomic fundamentals and favorable growth prospects.

Investors came largely from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and the Netherlands, benefiting the real estate, mining, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, utilities and construction sectors.

The BSP noted lower net loan availability by local subsidiaries from their foreign/parent companies this year, while reinvested earnings reached $168 million, or lower than the US$191 million posted in the previous year.

FDI pertains to money invested by foreigners in the Philippines for establishing new businesses or expanding existing ones, and as such generates employment.


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