UPDATE 1-Foreigners sell Canadian securities in May, 1st time this year

Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:36am EDT
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OTTAWA, July 16 (Reuters) - Foreign investors sold their holdings of Canadian securities in May in the first reduction this year, led by a decrease in equities, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.

Non-residents sold C$5.45 billion ($4.21 billion) in Canadian assets. Holdings in Canadian stocks decreased by C$5.66 billion as cross-border merger and acquisition activity saw non-resident portfolio investors give up their shares to foreign direct investors.

The decline was tempered by foreign purchases of Canadian shares on the secondary market worth C$2.2 billion.

Foreign investment in Canadian bonds was muted, with an increase of just C$514 million as the sale of government bonds was offset by the purchase of corporate bonds.

Canadians, on the other hand, bought C$5.58 billion in foreign securities, the second consecutive month of increases. Canadians increased their equities positions by C$3.87 billion, with purchases split between U.S. stocks and other foreign shares.

Canadian purchases of foreign bonds slowed to C$1.39 billion.

($1=$1.2940 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by W Simon)