(Adds FDI comparison)
MEXICO CITY, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Mexico’s second-quarter current account deficit widened as a decline in foreign investment in factories and companies offset a sharp uptick in foreign purchases of bonds and equities, the central bank reported on Monday.
Mexico’s current account deficit reached $6.982 billion in the second quarter, according to the central bank, expanding from the first three months of the year, when it reached a revised $4.389 billion.
Foreigners slashed their investments in Mexican factories and businesses to just $2.304 billion, from $7.429 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first quarter.
But foreign portfolio investment in stocks as well as corporate and government debt picked up to $22.926 billion in the April-to-June period, more than twice the $10.230 billion registered in the first quarter, the central bank said.
Foreigners boosted their bets on equities and fixed income in Latin America’s No. 2 economy, even as the U.S. Federal Reserve continued shaving billions from its monthly monetary stimulus.
For years, the stimulus program fueled appetite for higher-yielding emerging market assets. Investor concerns about the Fed’s first steps to wind it down helped contribute to a rout in emerging markets early this year.
The deficit for the first half of the year was the equivalent of 1.8 percent of gross domestic product, the central bank said.
The current account is a broad measure of a country’s foreign transactions, encompassing trade, workers’ remittances and services like tourism. It is a gauge of a country’s reliance on foreign capital. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Simon Gardner, Tom Brown and Jeffrey Benkoe)