Foreigners scoop up Canadian corporate bonds in April

People attend a market open ceremony for the Toronto Stock Exchange at the TSX Broadcast Centre in Toronto June 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Foreign investors showed an increased appetite for Canadian securities in April, adding C$14.91 billion ($14.61 billion) to their portfolios compared with C$956 million in March, according to Statistics Canada data on Monday.

Non-residents made the biggest purchases of debt instruments since May 2012 at C$12.76 billion. Of that total, C$7.77 billion was in bonds, largely new corporate issues, and C$4.99 billion was in short-term money market instruments, the first acquisition of the latter in 2013.

Foreigners also returned to the Canadian stock market after two months of divestment, adding C$2.15 billion in equities with a focus on gold and energy shares.

Canadians, for their part, increased their purchases of foreign securities by C$2.81 billion in April, down from C$3.81 billion in March.

They bought C$2.75 billion worth of foreign bonds and C$723 million in money market paper while divesting C$662 million of foreign equities after seven straight months of acquisitions.

Reporting by Louise Egan and Alex Paterson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama