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Canadians rushing to buy foreign securities, while foreign investors dump ours

Canadian investors rushed to scoop up foreign securities in the fourth quarter, leading to $16.5 billion in outflows from the country.

Domestic investors put a record sum of money into foreign securities in December like a struggling economy and crumbling stock market in your own home sent Canadian cash abroad.

Statistics Canada said Wednesday that domestic investors scooped up $17.4 billion in foreign securities for the month, breaking November’s record of $16.5 billion. The buying may come as foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities, amid a bear market in Canadian stocks and the steady downward march from the loonie.

Foreign investors sold off $1.4 billion in Canadian securities, led by divestitures in federal government bonds. For that fourth quarter as a whole, Canada saw an internet outflow of $16.5 billion in funds in the economy.

“Data for December showed Canadians putting another mountain of capital to operate outside the country,” said Warren Lovely, head of public sector research and strategy at National Bank of Canada. “Canadian investors have never before directed because their investment to foreign markets as they did within the final quarter of 2015.”

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