Foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled US$28.2 billion in the first nine months of 2013, nearly doubling that of the first nine months of 2012. FDI should exceed US$30 billion this year and is likely to exceed annual portfolio investment for the first time since 2009.
Judging by the third quarter FDI figures, AB InBev’s purchase of the 50% of Grupo Modelo shares it didn’t yet own finally went through in the first half of the year. FDI in the third quarter of 2013 was just US$3.4 billion, just 12.0% of total FDI in the first nine months of 2013. Without the Modelo purchase, FDI this year won't be much more than last year's.
New investments were a minimal 2.3% of FDI in the third quarter. Increases in subsidiaries’ debt with their parent companies accounted for virtually half (49.7%) of FDI in the third quarter while reinvested profits, which appear as an outflow in the current account, accounted for 48.0%.
Reflecting the sale of Grupo Modelo, nearly half (47.0%) of FDI in the first nine months of this year came from Belgium. The US, traditionally Mexico’s principal source of FDI, was the second largest source, with a quarter (25.3%) of the total. The Netherlands contributed 6.6% of the total, followed by the U.K. and Japan, with, respectively, 4.4% and 4.2% of the total, and Germany, with 3.3%. The remaining 9.2% came from all other countries combined.
Four-fifths (79.9%) of FDI in the first nine months of 2013 went into manufacturing, the sector in which the Modelo purchase falls. Typically, about half of FDI goes into manufacturing. Mining received 4.6% and commerce, 3.9% of the total. Information in mass media attracted 3.0% of the total and temporary lodging, 3.0%. The remaining 5.5% went into all other sectors.
Assets held abroad rose US$28.0 billion through September, roughly in line with their US$29.3 billion increase in the same period of 2012. However, there were significant changes in their composition: Mexican FDI plunged while Mexican deposits in foreign bank accounts climbed.
Mexican deposits in foreign bank accounts soared US$26.1 billion in the first nine months of 2013. In the same period of 2012, they rose US$4.2 billion. The tremendous jump in deposits in foreign bank account may well be explained, in part, by the sale of Grupo Modelo: Mexican shareholders may have chosen to place the proceeds of the sale in foreign bank accounts.
In the first nine months of 2013, Mexican FDI totaled US$6.5 billion, a third of its level in the first nine months of last year. Mexican FDI this year should be above its 2005-2009 annual average (US$6.3 billion) but far below its 2010-2012 annual average (US$17.0 billion).
If you see an FDI figure of US$1.2 billion reported for the third quarter, that's FDI using the new reporting methodology, which nets FDI in Mexico and FDI by Mexican companies. In the third quarter of 2012, that number was US$0.3 billion. For the first nine months of this year, thanks to the Modelo purchase and the drop off in Mexican FDI abroad, FDI with the new reporting methodology was US$21.8 billion. Mexican FDI exceeded incoming FDI in the first nine months of 2012 to the tune of US$4.4 billion.