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Current account surplus, financial account net outflow hit highs

Current account surplus, financial account net outflow hit highs

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Taiwan recorded new highs in its current account surplus and financial account net outflow in the first quarter of this year, the central bank said Thursday. The bank said that due to a fall in imports during the January-May period, the surplus of Taiwan's current account, which mainly measures merchandise and service exports as part of the country's balance of payments, totaled US$22 billion, up from US$15.06 billion recorded a year earlier. The data shows that as a fall in exports of petrochemical products in the first quarter fell 4.0 percent from a year earlier, while a plunge in international oil prices and a decline in capital equipment inbound sales were also recorded, imports for the three- month period dropped 15.2 percent year-on-year. As a result, a surplus of merchandise exports for the first quarter rose US$7.09 billion from a year earlier to US$13.96 billion, while a surplus of services exports for the three-month period rose US$50 million to US$3.02 billion, the statistics indicate. The central bank said that the income account surplus totaled US$5.81 billion for the first quarter, up US$200 million from a year earlier in reflection of an increase in earnings from investments in foreign currency assets. During the same period, Taiwan registered a current account transfer deficit of US$780 million, up US$400 million from a year earlier, due to an increase in workers' outbound remittances, the central bank said. As for the financial account, which reflects flow in direct investment and portfolio investments, the net outflow rose to US$18.84 billion in the first quarter from US$13.09 billion recorded over the same period of last year, the data shows. In the quarter, net outflow of direct investments hit US$1.66 billion and net outflow of portfolio investments reached US$9.58 billion, the central bank said. Net outflow of residents' securities investments totaled US$14.22 billion because local insurance companies poured more funds into foreign securities. Net inflow of non-residents' securities investments hit US$4.64 billion in the first quarter as foreign investors raised their holdings in the local bourse, the central bank said, adding that since listed companies in Taiwan enjoyed an 18.6 percent year-on-year increase in net profit in 2014, local shares appeared attractive to many foreign investors. In the past quarter, Taiwan recorded US$350 million in net outflow of financial derivative investments. Other investments also registered net outflow of US$7.24 billion as banks sitting on ample foreign currency capital repaid borrowing to their foreign counterparts. (By Pan Chi-i and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-25 18:24 GMT+08:00