KARACHI: The outflow of profits and dividends on investment in the country showed slight decline during the first eight months of current fiscal year.

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) latest data issued on Monday showed that the outflow of profits during the July-Feb period was $974 million against $994m in the same period of last fiscal year, noting a decline of $20m.

Pakistan received investment over $3.4 billion during the eight months, mostly concentrated in the treasury bills with a fraction in the long-term Pakistan investment bonds.

However, the unfortunate spread of COVID-19 shattered investor confidence who withdrew $1.6bn from these investments within a month.

Further details of the SBP data showed that the highest outflow of $239m was from the UK — largest investor in the country’s treasury bills during the current fiscal year. Outflows from the US stood at $146m. Outflows for Hong Kong were at $119.4m, China $94m and Switzerland $71m.

The country’s weak economy is unable to face erosion of foreign investments from the country. The spread of pandemic is highly discouraging for investors as is reflected from the falling equity markets around the globe.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2020