• Hot money net inflow hits $1B yr-to-date

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    THE Philippines recorded a net inflow of $1.038 billion in foreign portfolio investments in the year to mid-May, reversing the net outflow of $1.611 billion recorded in the same period last year, data from the central bank showed.

    Year-to-date inflows of such investments, also called hot money because of the ease with which they can enter and leave the country, totaled $9.436 billion, while outflows reached $8.398 billion.

    No other details on the cumulative amounts were available from the weekly update on foreign portfolio investments released by the central bank last week.

    In the week to May 15, foreign portfolio investments posted a net outflow of $382 million from a net outflow of $309 million a week earlier.

    Total inflows for the period May 11 to 15 reached $247 million, against total outflows of $630 million.

    Hot money, or speculative funds invested in financial assets, are a component of the Philippines’ balance of payments (BOP), which summarizes the country’s economic transactions with the rest of the world over a certain period. Other components of the BOP include trade, foreign direct and portfolio investments, as well as remittances from Filipinos abroad.

    The central bank has forecast that the country will swing back to a payments surplus of $2 billion by the end of 2015 from a deficit of $2.88 billion the year before.

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