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FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT- An investment made by a company or entity based in one country, into a company or entity based in another country. Foreign direct investments differ substantially from indirect investments such as portfolio flows, wherein overseas institutions invest in equities listed on a nation's stock exchange. Entities making direct investments typically have a significant degree of influence and control over the company into which the investment is made. Open economies with skilled workforces and good growth prospects tend to attract larger amounts of foreign direct investment than closed, highly regulated economies.

EXPLANATION AND EXAMPLE- The investing company may make its overseas investment in a number of ways - either by setting up a subsidiary or associate company in the foreign country, by acquiring shares of an overseas company, or through a merger or joint venture. The accepted threshold for a foreign direct investment relationship, as defined by the OECD, is 10%. That is, the foreign investor must own at least 10% or more of the voting stock or ordinary shares of the investee company. An example of foreign direct investment would be an American company taking a majority stake in a company in China. Another example would be a Canadian company setting up a joint venture to develop a mineral deposit in Chile. 2.FOREIGN PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT- Securities and other financial assets passively held by foreign investors. Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) does not provide the investor with direct ownership of financial assets, and thus no direct management of a company. This type of investment is relatively liquid, depending on the volatility of the market invested in. It is most commonly used by investors who do not want to manage a firm abroad.

EXPLANATION: Foreign portfolio investment typically involves shortterm positions in financial assets of international markets, and is similar to investing in domestic securities. FPI allows investors to take part in the profitability of firms operating abroad without having to directly manage their operations. This is a similar concept to trading domestically: most investors do not have the capital or expertise required to personally run the firms that they invest in. Foreign portfolio investment differs from foreign direct investment (FDI), in which a domestic company runs a foreign firm. While FDI allows a company to maintain better control over the firm held abroad, it might make it more difficult to later sell the firm at a premium price. This is due to information asymmetry: the company that owns the firm has intimate knowledge of what might be wrong with the firm, while potential investors (especially foreign investors) do not. The share of FDI in foreign equity flows is greater than FPI in developing countries compared to developed countries, but net FDI inflows tend to be more volatile in developing countries because it is more difficult to sell a directly-owned firm than a passively owned security.