Statistics Canada says foreign investment in Canadian securities grew by $6.1 billion in February, including a $3.9 billion purchase of federal government business enterprise bonds, the largest since May 2009.
After two months in which they steered clear of Canadian bonds, attracted by U.S. assets because of signs of economic recovery south of border, non-residents bought $2.2 billion in Canadian bonds. Government business enterprises include utilities, liquor boards and crown corporations.
Most of the sales were in corporate paper and provincial bonds, as foreign investors continued to divest holders of federal government bonds.
As Canadian stock markets continued their upward trend, foreign investment in Canadian equities grew by $1.6 billion in February, the sixth straight month of increased purchases of equities.
Meanwhile Canadians bought $6 billion in foreign securities, led by $2.7 billion in foreign bond purchases.
Especially attractive were U.S. Treasuries as the Federal Reserve reduces its own purchases of U.S bonds. Canadian investors made their largest investment in US Treasury bills since October 2010.