(Adds details from report)
OTTAWA, July 17 (Reuters) - Foreign investors ramped up purchases of Canadian securities in May, driven by increased holdings of Canadian government debt and equities, data from Statistics Canada showed on Monday.
International investors picked up C$29.5 billion ($23.3 billion) in Canadian securities in May, up from C$10.6 billion in April and the second largest amount on record.
Since the beginning of the year, foreign investors have bought C$100.6 billion in Canadian securities, compared with C$82 billion in the same time period last year.
Foreign investors bought C$20.8 billion in Canadian bonds in May, the most since March 2015, buying a record amount of provincial government bonds. Investors also picked up C$7.2 billion in Canadian equities, even as stock prices were down 1.5 percent in the month.
Canadian investors bought C$4.4 billion in foreign securities after reducing their holdings in April. Canadians bought C$1.2 billion in international bonds, including U.S. Treasuries and corporate bonds.
Still, Canadian investors sold C$1.5 billion in foreign equities, the second month in a row investors have reduced their stock holdings. ($1=$1.2658 Canadian)
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe