MANILA—The Philippines’ foreign exchange reserves rose to USD 81.82 billion in April 2017, which the central bank traced partly to its foreign exchange operations and the net foreign currency deposits by the national government.
Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Friday showed that the gross international reserves (GIR) in the fourth month this year was higher than month-ago’s USD80.9 billion, but lower than year-ago’s USD83.74 billion.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., in a statement, said other factors that boosted the reserves included revaluation adjustment on the central bank’s gold holdings after the rise of this commodity’s price in the international market, and the gains from the central bank’s investments overseas.
He, however, said that the positive factors were countered by NG’s payment of its foreign currency-denominated debt.
The current GIR level is enough to cover nine months’ worth of imports of goods and payment of services and primary income.
During the same period, the net international reserves (NIR), which is the difference between the GIR and the central bank’s short-term debt also registered a hike to USD81.8 billion from the previous month’s USD80.99 billion.
The country’s GIR has generally been strong but posted fluctuations in recent months because of the impact of narrowing capital account and some capital outflows.
Nomura Executive Director and Senior Economist for Southeast Asia Euben Paracuelles earlier told PNA that the decline in the country’s GIR “is not really surprising” due to the rising importation on higher demand of the domestic economy.
“I think if it goes lower on a sustainable basis then it becomes a concern. But at the moment the buffers are still large,” he said, citing that international standards calls for a GIR level of about three to four months’ worth of imports.