Int'l Outflow of Funds in Jan.: StatsCan

Canadian investment instruments proved not as attractive to buyers offshore to begin the calendar year, according to figures released Thursday by Statistics Canada.

The agency revealed foreign investment in Canadian securities slowed to $6.2 billion in January, down from $10.2 billion in December.

At the same time, the nation's number-crunchers reported, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $8.6 billion, led by purchases of U.S. instruments.

The result was that international transactions in securities generated a net outflow of funds of $2.4 billion from the Canadian economy in the month, the first outflow since December 2015.

Overall, foreign investors acquired Canadian debt securities but sold equities in the month.

Foreign acquisitions of Canadian bonds amounted to $10.0 billion in January. Investment activity was mainly in corporate bonds, as foreign investors reduced their exposure to federal government bonds in the month. Foreign holdings of Canadian shares were down by $1.0 billion in January, the first divestment since August 2015.

On the other side of the coin, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $8.6 billion in January, the largest investment since December 2015. Canadian investment in foreign debt securities rebounded in January to reach $4.9 billion, after two consecutive months of divestment.

Canadian investment in foreign equities amounted to $3.8 billion in January, down from a significant investment of $11.7 billion recorded in December.