QUITO (Dow Jones Feb 25)--Ecuador's foreign direct investment, or FDI, totaled $128 million in the third quarter, down 58% from the $306 million registered in the same period of 2008, the Central Bank said Thursday.
In calculating FDI, the central bank strips out loans made by foreign companies to their Ecuadorian subsidiaries.
The bank said that during the third quarter, $128 million, or 80%, of the investment came from Mexico and went into telecommunications sector.
The key oil and mining sectors received only $25 million during the third quarter.
Mexican investment in Ecuador came primarily from mobile-phone operator America Movil SAB (AMX), which renewed its concession license for 15 years in September 2008. America Movil, which is the leading operator in the Andean country, should pay 3.93% of yearly revenue over the 15-year period.
According to the Central Bank, the services sector saw a net $37 million outflow.
Foreign direct investment in Ecuador totaled $219 million in the second quarter. Between January and September, Ecuador's FDI totaled $469 million.
Analysts said the lack of juridical security, political and economic uncertainty, as well as President Rafael Correa's policies of trying to gain more control over Ecuador's key sectors, make it very difficult to attract foreign investment.