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Net foreign direct investments (FDI) dropped to their lowest level in 15 months in October, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed on Friday.

At $491 million, the net inflow was 74.2 percent lower compared to a year earlier and was also the smallest since the P344 million posted in July 2017.

It brought the year-to-date tally to $8.530 billion, 1.8 percent higher compared to the same period in 2017.

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“Net investments of equity capital reached $98 million, lower than the year-ago level of US$1.5 billion due to the big ticket investments in October 2017,” the Bangko Sentral said of the October decline.

“On a gross basis, placements of equity capital reached $112 million, which mostly emanated from the Netherlands, the United States, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong,” it added.

The bulk of net FDl inflows came in the form of net placements in debt instruments, which rose by 4.2 percent from a year ago to $331 million.

Reinvestments of earnings, meanwhile, increased by 8.6 percent to $62 million from a year ago.

Net FDI inflows for January to October, meanwhile, were driven largely by $5.856 billion in net investments in debt instruments, which were 18.6 percent higher reckoned from a year earlier.

Reinvestments of earnings were also higher at $677 million, the BSP said.

But net investments in equity capital fell to $1.998 billion from $2.778 billion in the comparable 2017 period even as gross placements of $2.394 billion more than compensated for withdrawals of $396 million.

Equity capital infusions during the period came mainly from Singapore, Hong Kong, the United States, Japan, and China, and were invested in manufacturing, financial and insurance, real estate, arts, entertainment and recreation, and electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities.

The central bank expects net FDI inflows to have reached $10.4 billion last year, higher than an earlier forecast of $9.2 billion.

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