H1 foreign investment pledges sag 21% on-yr


Investment pledges by foreign investors in the Philippines slumped 21 percent in the first half of 2015 from a year earlier, with little support from a 0.5 percent increase in foreign pledges during the second quarter.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) released Tuesday showed foreign investments (FI) approved by the seven Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA) in January to June dropped to P58 billion from P73.4 billion in the corresponding 2014 period.

For the second quarter alone, foreign investment commitments reached P36.2 billion, up from approved pledges of P36 billion a year earlier.

Foreign investment commitments consist of “pledges in equity, loans and reinvested earnings,” the PSA said.

Approvals came from the Board of Investments (BOI), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), BOI-Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BOI-ARMM), and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).

Filipino and foreign
Combined pledges from Filipino nationals and foreign investors in the first half showed a less severe fall of 48.9 percent to P186.44 billion from P365.19 billion in the year-ago period.

In the three months to June, their combined commitments slid 65.1 percent to P90 billion from P257.8 billion in the comparable quarter in 2014.

Filipino nationals accounted for 59.8 percent of the total approved investment commitments in the second quarter, pledging P53.8 billion.

Foreign and Filipino ventures approved by the IPAs in the second quarter of 2015 are expected to generate 36,196 jobs, down by 69.5 percent from the previous year’s projected employment, the PSA said.

Of the expected jobs, 71.5 percent would come from projects with foreign interest, it said.

Origin of pledges
The Netherlands was the top prospective investing country during the second quarter with a pledge of P17 billion, accounting for 46.8 percent of the total.

Singapore and Japan occupied the second and third ranks, pledging P8.4 billion or 23.2 percent and P4 billion or 11.1 percent, respectively, of the total FI approved in the second quarter of 2015.

Top pledges through govt agencies
According to the latest data, significant pledges in the second quarter were made through the four major IPAs namely the BOI, CEZA, PEZA and SBMA.

PEZA registered the highest FI commitments, amounting to P23.96 billion in the quarter, 2,000-percent higher than the P14.42 billion pledged in the comparable quarter last year.

Investment pledges through the BOI were valued at P10.91 billion, 61 percent higher than P2.38 billion in the same period last year. Commitments through SBMA were valued at P270.8 million, while pledges through CEZA amounted to P345.2 million.


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