UPDATE 1-Investors increase holdings of Mexico peso bonds -cenbank

miércoles 25 de febrero de 2015 11:55 GYT
 

(Recasts with investor flows, adds details on bond, stock markets)

MEXICO CITY Feb 25 (Reuters) - Foreign investors purchased more Mexican peso debt in the fourth quarter of last year while they trimmed holdings of local stocks, central bank data showed on Wednesday.

Flows into peso debt rose to nearly $9.9 billion in the fourth quarter, the highest quarterly inflow since the final months of 2012, the bank said.

A sharp drop in global oil prices knocked Mexico's peso to a nearly six-year low in the fourth quarter, cheapening peso bonds for foreign investors.

Holdings of peso-denominated debt by foreigners have climbed steadily since 2009 and have reached record levels near 2.2 trillion pesos ($147 billion), according to data on the central bank website.

An anticipated rise in U.S. borrowing costs is expected to draw investors out of emerging markets and into dollar debt. The central bank is concerned that a further slump in the peso could fan consumer prices higher.

Foreign investors pulled money out of Mexican stocks for the second quarter in a row, drawing out more than $1 billion during the fourth quarter, the central bank said. The benchmark IPC stock index fell off a record high in September.

Foreigners held around $144 billion in Mexican stocks in January, the central bank said.

Mexico's current account deficit reached $5.3 billion in the fourth quarter, widening from the third quarter of last year.

The accumulated current account deficit for the full year 2014 was the equivalent of 2.1 percent of gross domestic product, the bank said. ($1 = 14.9280 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; editing by Matthew Lewis)