Foreign investments rise nearly 10% to $2-B in 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Money pumped by foreign investors into the Philippines rose nearly 10% in 2012 from the previous year, boosted by higher inflows in December.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Monday, March 11, net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows reached $2.033 billion in 2012, up 9.8% from $1.852 billion in 2011.

In December alone, the Philippines booked net FDI inflows of $20 million, a turnaround from the $28 million net outflows in the same month in 2011.

The BSP said the country “continued to benefit from strong foreign investors’ confidence in the resilience of the domestic economy.”

FDI refers to capital foreigners put in the country to set up businesses or expand existing ones, spurring the creation of jobs.

Unlike “hot money” or portfolio investments, which go to stocks and bonds and which fly in and out of the financial markets easily, FDI inflows are usually for the long term.

Bulk of the investments in 2012 came from the US, Japan and the Netherlands. They went mainly to the real estate, financial and insurance, electricity, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade sectors.

The BSP said foreign investors were encouraged by the Philippines’ strong economic growth, low inflation and robust external payments position.

In 2012, the Philippine economy grew 6.6%, the second fastest in the region, next to China. –