November 12, 2018 / 7:29 AM / in 7 months

Philippines' August net FDI hits lowest in 5 months

MANILA, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Net foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Philippines fell to their lowest in five months in August, but inflows in the first eight months of the year rose 31 percent, the central bank said on Monday.

In August alone, net FDI totalled $752 million, down 41 percent compared with the $1.28 billion inflows in the same month last year.

Net FDIs in January-August period rose to $7.42 billion from $5.67 billion last year, the central bank said in a statement.

Equity capital infusions came mainly from Singapore, Hong Kong, the United States, Japan, and China, and channelled mostly into firms engaged in manufacturing, financial and real estate, entertainment and energy, it said.

The Philippine government has vowed to reduce red tape, overhaul infrastructure, and further open up the economy to get a bigger share of FDIs flowing into Southeast Asia, where other countries have been attracting much more.

Last month President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order further liberalising investment rules, removing ownership restrictions and further opening certain sectors and activities to foreigners.

The central bank has projected net FDIs in the Philippines this year to reach $9.2 billion, compared with last year’s record high of slightly over $10 billion. (Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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