Foreign direct investment rebounded in July, reaching 1 billion USD for the month, the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency announced.

The figure almost kept up with the highest monthly level since the beginning of this year, which was 1.39 billion USD in March, the agency said.

It also broke the downward trend of FDI disbursement over past few months.

Total FDI disbursement hit 6.3 billion USD for the first seven months, marking a 1.6 percent decrease over the same period of last year.

This month also witnessed a significant change in new registered investment capital. Only 49 new foreign-invested projects received licences during the month, the lowest in six months but the total registered capital for these projects was up to 3.23 billion USD.

Meanwhile, 15 existing projects were allowed to increase their capital by 148 million USD this month. So far this year 147 projects have been approved to add 1.42 USD of registered capital.

The new additions have brought the total FDI registered in the first seven months to 9.05 billion USD, down 24 percent on the same period last year, the agency said.

During the period, Hong Kong overtook Singapore to become Vietnam 's largest source of foreign investment with 31 projects worth 2.89 billion USD.

Singapore ranked second with 54 projects capitalised at 1.41 billion USD, following by South Korea with 172 projects valued at 797 million USD and Japan with 119 projects worth 720 million USD.

The processing and manufacturing sector attracted the largest share of FDI, gobbling up 4.25 billion USD. Electricity, gas and water production and distribution sector contributed 2.52 billion USD while the construction industry made up 603 million USD.

With 21 projects, totally worth 2.49 billion USD, the northern province of Hai Duong was the country's biggest destination for foreign investors, followed by HCM City with 1.63 billion USD and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province with 510 million USD.

The agency also reported foreign-invested firms fetched 27.82 billion USD from exports in the first seven months of the year, up 34 percent over the same period last year. The firms also spent 25.4 billion USD for imports during the period, up 29.5 percent. /.