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Foreign investors piled into Canadian bonds in February while dumping equities, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

The national statistical agency reported that foreign investors added $4.6 billion worth of Canadian securities in the month, buying $11.2 billion in bonds while divesting $6.6 billion in equities.

In particular, foreign investors bought $10.9 billion of corporate bonds in February, driven by new issuances of U.S. dollar-denominated bonds by financial corporations.

Investors also increased their exposure to federal government debt but reduced their holdings of provincial debt, the report noted.

At the same time Canadian investors reduced their exposure to foreign securities by $1.6 billion, which StatsCan said marked the third consecutive month of divestment, though down sharply from $16.2 billion in January.

Canadian investors continued selling foreign equities in February, albeit at a much lower level than in the previous couple of months. This ongoing divestment was somewhat offset by investors adding foreign debt.

The combination of selling by domestic investors and foreign investors buying Canadian securities produced a net inflow of $6.2 billion to the Canadian economy in February.