South Africa’s foreign direct investment inflows rise to $1.7 bln in Q1

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows rose in the first quarter of 2020, to 29.0 billion rand ($1.74 billion) compared to inflows of 10.5 billion rand in the final quarter of last year, the central bank said on Thursday.

“South Africa’s direct investment liabilities increased … mainly as a result of the foreign acquisition of a domestic manufacturer and distributor of food and beverage products,” the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said in its quarterly bulletin.

Local competition authorities approved United States food giant PepsiCo’s $1.7 billion takeover of food and drinks producer Pioneer Food Group in February.

At the same time, portfolio investments, reflecting a record of buying and selling of securities such as bonds and shares, showed a sharp outflow, of 97.6 billion rand in the first quarter compared to inflows of 9.3 billion rand in fourth quarter of 2019.

Non-residents sold bonds worth 74.4 billion in the first quarter, while selling 23.1 billion rand in equities, the bank said in the analytical release.

South Africa saw aggressive selling of government bonds in March and April as the novel coronavirus struck, forcing the central bank to enforce emergency liquidity measures and launch a quantitative easing style purchase of bonds in the secondary market.

($1 = 16.6576 rand)

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Alexander Winning and Barbara Lewis

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