Philippines foreign reserves down slightly in Jan
THE Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR) marginally declined in January with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) attributing the drop to its foreign exchange operations and national government’s foreign debt payments.
Central bank data released on Thursday showed the country’s foreign exchange reserves at $81.205 billion, down 0.44 percent from December and the $81.376 billion recorded a year earlier.
“The month-on-month marginal decline in the GIR level was due mainly to outflows arising from the foreign exchange operations of the BSP and payments made by the national government for its maturing foreign exchange obligations,” the central bank said in a statement.
These were partially tempered by the national government’s net foreign currency deposits, revaluation adjustments to the Bangko Sentral’s gold holdings following price hikes in the international market, as well as income from investments abroad.
The central bank said the latest reserves level was enough to cover 8.2 months worth of imports — lower than the 8.3 months in December and the 8.8 months recorded year earlier — and were also equivalent to 5.8 times the country’s short-term external obligations due within one year and 4.2 times based on residual maturity.
Net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, decreased by $400 million to $81.2 billion as of end-January 2018, compared to the end-December 2017 NIR of $81.6 billion.