Foreign investment in Canadian securities totalled $20.8 billion in October, up from $16.7 billion in the previous month, led by record acquisitions of Canadian bonds, Statistics Canada announced Monday.

At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $16.5 billion, mainly purchases of U.S. shares.

Since the beginning of the year, foreign acquisitions of Canadian securities have totalled $171.0 billion, the government agency says.

According to StatsCan, foreign investors snapped up $27.9 billion worth of Canadian bonds in October. New issues of Canadian corporate bonds that were placed in foreign markets, and largely denominated in foreign currencies, accounted for $17.7 billion of the monthly activity. More than half of these new bonds were issued by Canadian banks, StatsCan says.

Foreign buying of Canadian equities dropped to $1.7 billion in October from $3.9 billion in September, according to StatsCan. Investors also withdrew a record $8.8 billion from the Canadian money market in October.

Canadian investors bought $14.2 billion of foreign equities in October, which was up sharply from $1.1 billion in September. Additionally, they snapped up $2.2 billion worth of foreign debt, which was largely in U.S. corporate bonds.