Hot money swings to net outflow in March

MANILA, Philippines - Foreign portfolio investments or "hot money" swung to net outflow in March due to profit-taking in Philippine stocks, the central bank reported.

In a statement on Thursday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said net portfolio investment outflow amounted to $395.14 million in March, a reversal of the $211.65 million net inflow in February and $183.74 million in March 2012.

It said gross inflows in March 2013 reached $2.334 billion, up 10% year on year, but outflows were higher at $2.729 billion.

The BSP attributed the outflows to "profit-taking" following the stock market's recent highs, and "continuing concerns about the euro zone."

In the first quarter, hot money registered net inflow of $1.086 billion, against only $464.45 million in the same quarter last year.

"The United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Luxembourg were the top 5 investor countries for the month," BSP said.

PH stocks

The central bank said investments in Philippine Stock Exchange-listed securities were $2 billion in March.

This was on "news about robust corporate earnings" and "the relaxation of rules on foreign ownership" under a revised Securities and Exchange Commission draft order.

The main beneficiaries of these investments were: