July 13, 2020 / 5:27 PM / 25 days ago

Net foreign investment in Colombia contracted 59.4% in first-half: central bank

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Net foreign investment in Colombia crashed 59.4% to $2.23 billion in the first half of the year, from $5.49 billion in the first six months of 2019, amid uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the central bank said Monday.

During the first half of 2020, investors withdrew $1.54 billion from equity and debt portfolios in the country. In the same period in 2019, $496.6 million flowed into the country.

The government expects Colombia’s economy to contract 5.5% this year due to the impact of measures used to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 150,000 people in the country and killed over 5,300.

In June, net foreign investment in Colombia contracted 97.6% versus the same month last year. Foreign investment arriving in the country last month was barely $42.2 million, down from $1.77 billion in June 2019, according to preliminary foreign exchange balance figures.

Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Oliver Griffin; editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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