Looking at the Bank of Latvia's quarterly balance of payments bulletin, these seem to be net FDI figures, balancing an inflow of "equity and other capital" of LVL 149.9 million in Q1 2009 (up from LVL 143.9 million a year earlier) against losses by "direct investment companies" of LVL 133.4 million.
A bit confusing, maybe the real economists reading this can comment. To me it looks like FDI is falling, although investment inflow (according to Bank of Latvia) is slightly up. Netting against losses, it seems we are talking about some kind of a burn rate here, but then, the net for Q4 was negative. Is that better? Or simply a case of getting less, thereby burning proportionally less?
The BoL's Q4 report is not very enlightening, it states that FDI for all of 2008 totaled LVL 542.5 million, down 45.3 % from 2007. Whatever it is, it does not somehow look good. Add to that the statistically not very significant but symbolically damaging lowering of the Swedish flag-of-approval in the sale of the media companies Diena and Dienas bizness by media flagship Bonnier Business Press and you have reason to think that Scandinavian investors will shun new investment, if not start a slow retreat from Latvia. After all, the prestigious Bonnier flag still flies (with priority) in Estonia, Lithuania and reputed bandito-land Bulgaria's media scene. And do not Swedish/Scandinavian investors do as do their leading business media (Dagens industri, the mother of all East European business media but its recently abandoned Latvian daughter, as European languages formulate it)?
Cumulative FDI stood at LVL 5.607 billion in Q1 2009 , down from 5.66 billion in Q4 2008 but up from LVL 5.391 billion in Q1 2008 (due to an inflow of FDI during the first three quarters of 2008). Good or bad?