Net foreign investment in Colombia drops 25 pct in first quarter

lunes 13 de abril de 2015 12:18 GYT

BOGOTA, April 13 (Reuters) - Net foreign investment in Colombia fell 25 percent in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier as funds injected into the oil and financial sectors dropped sharply, preliminary figures from the central bank showed on Monday.

The net figure, which includes both portfolio and direct foreign investment, was $4.47 billion for the first three months of 2015, down from $5.95 billion in the year-before quarter.

Foreign direct investment slipped 10 percent from 2014 to $3.29 billion from the year before.

Flows into the oil and mining sector, which accounted for 81.5 percent of total foreign investment, fell 11.7 percent to $2.68 billion.

Foreign direct investment in other sectors was down 1.9 percent at $608.7 million.

Portfolio investment in Colombian assets such as stocks and public debt plunged 58.7 percent to $1.06 billion between January and March, compared with the 2014 quarter. The drop came amid expectations that the United States is set to raise interest rates, making dollar-denominated assets more attractive.

Foreign direct investment in Latin America's fourth-biggest economy will likely fall almost 20 percent this year from $16 billion in 2014, according to calculations by economic think tank ANIF.

Lower foreign investment plays into one of the economy's key vulnerabilities - the current account deficit - which in 2014 was 5.2 percent of gross domestic product, equivalent to $19.7 billion, compared with 3.2 percent of GDP in 2013. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Peter Galloway)