"The progression of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis into a full-scale pandemic and its adverse impact on the global economy dampened investor sentiment and investment activity during the month," the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement.
According the BSP, the decline in total FDI net inflows was largely due to a 33.5-percent reduction in net investments in debt instruments to 278 million U.S. dollars from 419 million U.S. dollars in the same month last year.
Similarly, the BSP said reinvestment of earnings fell by 37.9 percent to 57 million U.S. dollars from 91 million U.S. dollars, and net equity capital placements increased by 53.1 percent to 172 million U.S. dollars in March from 112 million U.S. dollars posted in March 2019.
For the first quarter of 2020, the BSP said FDI net inflows contracted by 14.2 percent to 1.7 billion U.S. dollars from the 1.9 billion U.S. dollars net inflows in the comparable period last year.
"This developed on account of the 41 percent decline in net investments in debt instruments to 828 million U.S. dollars from 1.4 billion U.S. dollars," the statement read.
Likewise, the BSP said reinvestment of earnings dipped by 24.1 percent to 187 million U.S. dollars from 247 million U.S. dollars in the previous year.
"The FDI downturn was mitigated partly by the 120.7 percent growth in net equity capital placements to 653 million U.S. dollars from 296 million U.S. dollars," the BSP said.
In particular, the BSP said gross placements expanded by 22.8 percent to 714 million U.S. dollars from 582 million U.S. dollars and withdrawals decreased by 78.6 percent to 61 million U.S. dollars from 286 million U.S. dollars.