05/16/2013 08:41 EDT | Updated 07/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Foreigners bought $1.2B in securities in March: StatsCan

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says non-resident investors acquired $1.2 billion of Canadian securities in March, led by investment in government bonds.

The agency says the purchases of bonds were largely moderated by continued reductions in foreign holdings of money market instruments.

It says Canadian investors added $3.8 billion of foreign securities to their holdings in March, following a $4.3 billion acquisition in February.

Foreign investment in Canadian bonds slowed for a second straight month, reaching $5.2 billion in March.

Overall, foreign investors accumulated $25.2 billion of Canadian bonds in the first quarter of 2013.

Foreign portfolio investors sold $600 million worth of Canadian equities in March, following an $11.6 billion reduction in their holdings in February that was largely attributable to merger and acquisition activity.