FOREIGN EXCHANGE | Cesar Tordesillas, Philippines

Philippines GIR for end-May at US$39 billion

The Philippines' gross international reserves as of end-May stood at US$39.319 billion, higher by US$3 million from the previous month’s level.

The preliminary GIR level could cover 6.3 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. It was also equivalent to six times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.1 times based on residual maturity.

According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., major foreign exchange inflows during the month included revaluation gains in the BSP’s gold holdings on account of the rise in the price of gold in the international market during the month, foreign currency deposits by the National Government, as well as income from the BSP’s investments abroad and net foreign exchange operations. These receipts were broadly matched by payments of maturing foreign exchange obligations of the NG and the BSP.

While the GIR level remained broadly steady, the level of net international reserves, which includes revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, rose to US$38.3 billion as of end-May 2009 from the month-ago level of US$37.8 billion as a result of the BSP’s partial settlement of credits extended by foreign financial counterparties. NIR refers to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities.

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