U.S., Canadian stocks drove cross-border portfolio flows: StatsCan

By James Langton | April 16, 2021 | Last updated on April 16, 2021
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Led by Canadian investors snapping up U.S. stocks, foreign securities buying outpaced the offshore acquisitions of Canadian securities in February, Statistics Canada reports.

Domestic investors added a total of $10.5-billion-worth of foreign securities in February, driven by $9.7 billion in U.S. equities.

The buying activity focused on shares of large-cap tech firms, and broad market index funds, StatsCan said.

At the same time, foreign investors bought $8.5-billion-worth of Canadian securities in February, activity that was also driven by equities.

“Foreign acquisitions of Canadian shares reached $9.5 billion in February, the largest investment in four years,” StatsCan said, noting that Canadian bank shares represented the bulk of the foreign buying.

Foreign investors also added $10 billion of Canadian corporate debt in the month, but sold $11.2-billion-worth of federal government debt.

Canadian investors bought $958 million in foreign debt securities in February, StatsCan noted, with that activity driven by U.S. corporate bond buying — somewhat offset by selling U.S. Treasury bills.

On balance, the economy saw $2 billion in portfolio outflows during the month.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for Advisor.ca and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.