FOREIGN portfolio investment that moved in and out of the Philippines, or hot money, recorded its largest net outflow in six months in April, swelling from the level in March and reversing a net inflow recorded a year earlier, central bank data shows.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said hot money transactions during the month resulted in an overall net outflow of $31.14 million, topping the $21.58 million net outflow recorded in March.
The net outflow in April also reversed the $324.77 million net inflow in the corresponding month in 2014. It was the highest net outflow recorded since the $179.90 million that left the country in October 2014.
Total outflows in April rose to $1.96 billion from $1.54 billion a year earlier, while inflows grew to $1.93 billion from the previous year’s $1.87 billion.
However, cumulative figures for transactions during the first four months of 2015 yielded a net inflow of $1.72 billion, a turnaround from the $2.03 billion net outflow in the comparable period in 2014. Year-to-date inflows of $8.76 billion offset the $7.03 billion outflows.
The BSP said about 74.3 percent of inbound investment flowed into listed stocks on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) such as holding firms; banks; property companies; food, beverage and tobacco companies; as well as telecommunications firms.
The rest of the hot money went into peso-denominated government securities (GS) and other peso debt instruments (OPDI).
“Transactions in peso GS and OPDIs yielded net inflows of $112 million and $30 million, respectively, while those for transactions on PSE-listed securities resulted in a net outflow of $172 million,” it said.
The United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Luxembourg were the top five investor countries for April with a combined share of 80 percent, while the US continued to be the main destination of outflows, receiving 84.6 percent of the total, it added.
Last year, foreign portfolio investments registered a net outflow of $310.21 million.
MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO