Securities Trade Higher in December

Canadian investment instruments looked more attractive in December to folks offshore than during the previous month.

Figures released Friday by Statistics Canada revealed that foreign investment in Canadian securities reached $10.2 billion in December, largely through acquisitions of shares. At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $6.7 billion, led by purchases of non-U.S. foreign shares.

The agency says that, as a result, international transactions in securities generated a net inflow of funds of $3.6 billion into the Canadian economy in December and a record $147.5 billion for 2016 as a whole. What's more, foreign investment in Canadian securities has exceeded Canadian investment in foreign securities by $634.4 billion since 2009, following the global financial crisis.

StatsCan goes on to say foreign acquisitions of Canadian equities reached $9.7 billion in December, mainly purchases on the secondary market. Overall, foreign investment in Canadian equities reached a record $53.4 billion in 2016, compared with $14.4 billion in 2015. Canadian stock prices were up by 1.4% in December and 17.5% in 2016.

Domestic investors hiked their holdings of foreign securities by $6.7 billion in December, following a divestment of $8.0 billion in November. Acquisitions of equities were moderated by sales of U.S. government debt instruments in the month, for which Canadian investors have reduced their exposure in each of the last five months.

The nation's number crunchers concludes that Canadian investors acquired a moderate $13.8 billion of foreign securities in 2016, compared with $60.2 billion in 2015.