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Foreigners Make Record Canada Bond Purchases in October

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12/18/2017 | 03:31pm CEST

By Paul Vieira

OTTAWA--Foreign purchases of Canadian bonds hit a record in October, led by corporate issues. Meanwhile, Canadians made the biggest addition of foreign securities to their portfolios in nearly two years.

Foreign investors bought a net 20.81 billion Canadian dollars (about $16.21 billion) in Canadian securities in October, Statistics Canada said Monday. This marked an increase from foreign net purchases of a revised C$16.69 billion in the previous month.

Nonresidents concentrated their purchases in Canadian bonds, which reached a record C$27.93 billion in September. The data agency said corporate bonds placed in foreign markets, largely denominated in foreign currencies, accounted for the bulk of the debt purchases. More than half of these new bonds were issued by Canadian banks.

In contrast, foreign investors withdrew a record $8.83 billion of funds from the Canadian money market in October. In October, Canadian short-term interest rates decreased in the month and the Canadian dollar depreciated against its U.S. counterpart by 2.6 U.S. cents.

Canada is running a sizable current-account deficit, and therefore requires money from abroad to help finance consumption and investment. As a triple-A rated sovereign, Canada attracts foreign-investor interest.

The data also indicate Canadians in October bought a net C$16.49 billion in foreign securities, or the most since December of 2015.

Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

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