Outbound investment, excluding China, soars in first half: CCIS

Taiwan's approved outbound investment, not including to China, soared almost 82 percent from a year earlier in the first half of 2016, according to Taipei-based credit information agency China Credit Information Service Ltd. (CCIS,?????).

The significant increase in outbound investment from Taiwan reflected the deteriorating investment environment in the country, with uncertainty over labor policies and cooling relations with China affecting investor sentiment, CCIS said.

In the first six months of the year, outbound investment from Taiwan approved by the Investment Commission, excluding China, totaled US$8.21 billion, up about US$3.7 billion, or 81.94 percent, from a year earlier.

The approved outbound investment during the six-month period was the highest ever for the same period in Taiwan and approached the US$10.75 billion approved to be invested overseas outside of China in all of 2015, the credit data company said.

The six-month figure included the US$3.5 billion Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??) invested to acquire Sharp Corp., but even if that amount were excluded, outbound investment excluding China would still be the highest on record for the first half of the year.

During the same period, approved investment by Taiwanese companies in China fell 11.53 percent from a year earlier to US$4.10 billion, bringing total overseas investment to US$12.31 billion.

That was nearly 35 percent above the US$9.15 billion in approved overseas investment registered in the first six months of 2015.

CCIS said that judging from past records, approved investment by Taiwanese companies in China could hit US$8.89 billion for all of 2016, which would be down from US$10.40 billion registered a year earlier.

The credit data company expected Taiwan's total approved outbound investment to hit US$21.54 billion in 2016, slightly higher than the record high of US$21.14 billion set in 2015.

Taiwan's new government has put considerable emphasis on a "new southbound policy" that encourages Taiwanese investors to look toward Southeast Asia and India to reduce dependence on China.

But data from the first half of the year showed that promoting the policy could face substantial challenges, as approved investment in the six major markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) fell 55.51 percent year-on-year to US$930 million.

Approved investment in Singapore hit US$633 million, up from US$75 million seen a year earlier, making the city state the third leading destination for Taiwanese investment outside of China, after Japan and British territories in the Caribbean.

However, approved investment in Vietnam fell 79.28 percent year-on-year to US$203 million, while investment in Thailand was down 0.55 percent to US$29.62 million and investment in Indonesia plunged 93.03 percent to US$25.54 million in the first half of the year.

Approved investment in the Philippines and Malaysia fell 96.60 percent and 75.80 percent, respectively, to US$12.26 million and US$18.68 million.

As for India, approved investment in the South Asian country fell 87.49 percent to US$7.53 million in the January-June period.

Source: Focus Taiwan