FDI increases to US$577 million

FDI increases to US$577 million

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 28, 2015

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JAMAICA attracted US$577.4 million in foreign direct investments (FDI) for the fiscal year ending March 2015, according to the Quarterly International Investment Position report from the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) published this week.

The figure gives an update on calendar year FDIs which totalled US$551 million.

The preliminary FDI inflows for the period largely reflected new equity inflows for infrastructure and tourism projects, stated the BOJ.

"The increase in FDI Inflows for the quarter predominantly reflected inflows of capital to finance tourism and infrastructure-related projects. These flows are related to the construction of Highway 2000 as well as the construction/renovation of various hotels," the BOJ explained.

The FDI of US$577.4 million reflects the rise in stock of direct investment at US$13.1 billion from US$12.52 billion a year earlier, according to tables in the report.

The annual flows, however, still trail levels prior to the 2008 Western financial crisis which averaged US$800 million per annum. The World Investment Report 2015 published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) indicated that FDI flows to Jamaica reached US$551 million in the 2014 calendar year.

The BOJ indicated that the FDI flows are one pillar in the international investment position (IIP) of the island. The BOJ explained that the IIP summarises Jamaica's external financial assets and liabilities. At March 2015, Jamaica's Net IIP stood at negative US$20.9 billion or negative 150.3 per cent of GDP.

"This deterioration was largely driven by an increase in inward foreign direct investment of US$577.4 million and a build-up of US$374.5 million in net portfolio investment liabilities," stated the BOJ. "The impact of these liability inflows was partly offset by an increase of US$641.1 million in the holdings of reserve assets. Notably, the build-up in the reserve assets for the fiscal year broadly reflected the proceeds of the US$800.0 million Eurobond issued by the Government in the September 2014 quarter."

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