Colombia foreign investment in financial assets overtakes mines, energy

viernes 15 de agosto de 2014 18:23 GYT

BOGOTA Aug 15 (Reuters) - Foreign investment into Colombian financial assets between January and July surpassed inflows destined for its oil and mining sector, preliminary data from the central bank showed on Friday, reflecting the changing appeal of each to investors.

Foreign investment into portfolio assets from January to July totaled $8.54 billion, a 161 percent increase from the same period in 2013, the bank's figures showed.

Appetite abroad for Colombian government debt has risen this year after a decision in March by investment bank J.P. Morgan to increase the weighting of the country's sovereign bonds in its indexes and as growth accelerates while inflation stays low.

By contrast, foreign investment into oil and mining in the same period fell 4.42 percent to $7.99 billion, falling behind inflows for portfolio investments. Legal uncertainties and long waits to receive environmental and other permits have dented the appeal of the Andean nation's natural resources.

In July alone, foreign investment into Colombia's financial assets was $1.26 billion, most of which went to peso-denominated bonds and some to stocks and shares. The Bogota stock exchange's index is up 7.2 percent this year.

Foreign direct investment as a whole, which includes inflows to oil and mining but not portfolio investments, fell 7.3 percent between January and July to $9.55 billion. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra, writing by Peter Murphy; editing by Matthew Lewis)