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'Hot money' net inflows up in January

Short-term foreign investments registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) posted higher net inflows in January despite less money coming in.

Data released by the central bank showed that foreign investments registered with authorized agent banks (AABs) posted a net inflow of $291.12 million in January, higher than the $92.95 million registered in December and $14.60 million in the same month last year.

Gross inflows for the month stood at $1.003 billion, reflecting an 8.1% decline from $1.092 billion in December, with 62.8% going into securities listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

These investments were mainly in banks, holding firms, property, food, beverage, and tobacco, and electricity, energy, power, and water.

Some 37.2% of the inflows went to investments in peso government securities, while less than 1.0% were channeled into other instruments.

"Investments for the month mostly came from the United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, Luxembourg, and Hong Kong, with a combined share of 83.8%," the BSP said in a statement.

Gross outflows for January declined by 28.8% to $711.79 million from $999.12 million in December, with 69.4% of total outward remittances going to the United States.

The central bank's registration of inward foreign investments with the AABs is optional under the rules on foreign exchange transactions and is only required if the investor purchases foreign exchange from the AABs. —VBL, GMA Integrated News