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OTTAWA, May 15 (Reuters) - Foreign investment in Canadian securities jumped to C$22.47 billion ($18.68 billion) in March, the biggest inflow since May 2012, as investors picked up corporate bonds and stocks, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
Non-residents invested C$20.96 billion in Canadian bonds, reflecting strong new issue activity. Investors purchased C$17.03 billion in Canadian corporate bonds, the highest since October 2001.
Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by C$3.20 billion. Combined with a large reduction in January, the sell-off made for the first quarterly divestment in more than five years.
Canadians sold C$6.45 billion of foreign bonds, though investors bought C$4.06 billion in foreign equities, with acquisitions almost evenly split between U.S. and non-U.S. shares.
$1=$1.2026 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum