International investors sold more Canadian securities than they bought in May, as cross-border mergers and acquisitions drove the first net divestment of equities this year.
Sales totaled C$5.45 billion ($4.21 billion), Statistics Canada said Thursday in Ottawa. That was led by C$5.66 billion of stocks, as mergers and acquisitions of Canadian companies resulted in shares changing hands.
International investors also bought C$514 million of Canadian bonds and sold C$299 million of money-market paper in May. The bond transactions included a C$5.48 billion purchase of debt from government-controlled companies, the most since June 2008 and mostly new securities, Statistics Canada said. There was also a sale of C$4.57 billion of government bonds.
The total May sale reduced the year-to-date acquisitions to C$48.4 billion, which remained higher than the C$40.4 billion total over in the same period of 2014.
Statistics Canada today boosted its estimate of April’s purchases to C$16.7 billion from C$12.9 billion.
Canadians bought C$5.58 billion of foreign securities in May, led by C$3.87 billion of stocks.