Foreigners divest most Canadian bonds since 2008

Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:47am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Foreign investors dumped C$7.9 billion ($8.0 billion) worth of Canadian securities in June after record high purchases in May, divesting the most bonds since December 2008, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Canada reported a record C$26.11 billion in foreign securities purchases in May as its higher yielding debt lured investors who also see the country as a safe haven during the current global financial turmoil.

In June, foreigners unloaded C$7.8 billion of bonds from their portfolios, partly the result of retiring bonds of the federal government and its enterprises, Statscan said.

They also sold C$910 million in stocks, mainly in the energy and gold sectors, but bought $783 million in short-term money market instruments.

By contrast, Canadian investors added C$3.9 billion in foreign securities in June, up from C$1.3 billion in May.

Canadians were most interested in U.S. government bonds, making the largest purchase of them in over five years, Statscan said. That boosted overall foreign bond purchases to C$4.1 billion in the month.

They reduced their holdings of foreign equities by C$224 million.

($1=$0.99 Canadian)

(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)