Pakistan received foreign direct investment (FDI) of $87.1 million in the first two months of 2014-15, which is 37% less than the FDI received during the same months of the preceding fiscal year.

According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday, FDI decreased by $51.2 million year-on-year in July-August, as it amounted to $138.3 million in the first two months of 2013-14.

Pakistan has faced political uncertainty amid month-long sit-ins by opposition groups demanding the resignation of the prime minister.

FDI in FY2013-14 clocked up at $1.63 billion after increasing by 11.99% on an annual basis. The increase during the last fiscal year was mainly on the back of the auction of the telecom spectrum that fetched the government $610.9 million in May.

There was a net outflow of FDI amounting to $21.7 million from the telecommunications sector in July-August. In contrast, the same sector had registered a net outflow of $49 million of FDI during the same period of the last fiscal year. FDI in the telecommunications sector in August amounted to a negative $10.2 million.

The largest increase in FDI in July-August was in the category of oil and gas exploration, which attracted $42.6 million. However, it was 34.7% less than the foreign investment received during the same months of the preceding fiscal year when it totalled $65.3 million.

Financial businesses attracted the second highest FDI in July-August, with net foreign investment of $23.7 million, down 9.2% from the corresponding two-month period of the preceding fiscal year.

Other sectors of the economy that received major FDI in July-August include tobacco and cigarettes ($20.1 million), chemicals ($19.8 million), food sector ($16.3 million), trade ($10.3 million), personal services ($10.2 million), textiles ($6.9 million) and power ($5 million).

Sectors of the economy that experienced a considerable net outflow of FDI in the first two months of the current fiscal year were pharmaceuticals (-$48.5 million), cement (-$7.6 million) and IT services (-$5 million).

As for foreign portfolio investment (FPI), which includes foreign public investment, Pakistan attracted $85.5 million during July-August, which is 10.3% higher than the FPI worth $77.5 million received in the comparable months of 2013-14.

FPI in 2013-14 was $2.74 billion, up 21 times from $124.2 million received in the preceding fiscal year.

Countries that brought significant amounts of FDI into Pakistan in July-August include the United States ($36.2 million), Hong Kong ($27.3 million), United Kingdom ($22.4 million), France ($11.9 million), Norway ($11.4 million), Japan ($8.9 million) and Italy ($5.3 million).

Countries that took out major investments out of Pakistan during the last two months are Qatar (-$9.9 million), Saudi Arabia (-$9.8 million), United Arab Emirates (-$8.9 million), Singapore (-$7.6 million), Malaysia (-$6.4 million), China (-$5.7 million), Canada ($4.1 million), Finland (-$4 million) and Switzerland (-$2.5 million).

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