OTTAWA, May 18 (Reuters) - Foreign investment in Canadian securities continued in March, driven by purchases of corporate bonds and equities, and bringing acquisitions in the first quarter to a record, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.
International investors bought C$15.1 billion ($11.1 billion) in Canadian securities in the month. Although that was a step down from February's monthly record of C$39.2 billion, foreign acquisitions hit a quarterly record of C$60.7 billion in the first three months of the year.
Foreigners bought C$8.9 billion in Canadian bonds in March, mainly drawn by corporate bonds as investors reduced their holdings of government debt.
Purchases of stocks slowed to C$3.3 billion from a record C$35.9 billion the month before. While the large investment in February had been largely the result of mergers and acquisitions, March's increase was mainly due to investment in the stock market.
Meanwhile, Canadians bought C$15.4 billion in foreign securities, the highest investment since December 2015. ($1=$1.3636 Canadian)
Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by W Simon