Latest Stories

Jan-March BOP registers surplus of $1.54B


Net inflow of dollars into the country grew in the first quarter as remittances remained strong and more foreign portfolio funds came in due to the favorable sentiment on the economy.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Friday reported that the country’s balance of payments (BOP) registered a surplus of $1.54 billion from January to March, up 24 percent from $1.24 billion in the same period last year.

In March alone, the BOP stood at a surplus of $452 million, reversing the $209-million deficit in the same month last year.

The BOP is a record of the country’s commercial transactions with the rest of the world. A surplus, which indicates that the inflow of dollars and other foreign-exchange exceeded the outflow, causes a buildup in the country’s total reserves of foreign exchange or the gross international reserves (GIR).

Foreign-exchange inflow to the Philippines was driven largely by remittances from overseas Filipinos and foreign investments in peso-denominated securities like stocks and bonds.

The BSP reported on Monday that remittances in the first two months of the year amounted to $3.36 billion, up 7 percent from $3.14 billion in the same period last year. Remittances in March have yet to be reported, but officials expected the figure to likewise by higher year-on-year.

Despite the lingering weakness of the US economy and the prolonged crisis in the euro zone, remittances to the Philippines continued to grow because of the strong demand for Filipino workers in alternative labor markets like the Middle East.

Foreign portfolio investments were also robust given the improved sentiment on the Philippines.

The BSP reported last week that the net inflow of foreign “hot money” amounted to $1.09 billion in the first quarter, more than double the $464.45 million registered in the same period last year.

The rise in foreign portfolio inflow fueled the surge in the Philippine Stock Exchange index, which has broken record highs several times since the start of this year.

The inflow was likewise credited for pushing interest rates on domestic government securities to historic lows.

The positive sentiment on the Philippines followed its encouraging growth performance. Last year, the economy expanded by 6.6 percent to become one of the fastest growing in Asia. Its growth rate last year beat the government’s official target of 5 to 6 percent.

Officials expected foreign portfolio flows to continue growing throughout the rest of the year, especially after the Philippines got an investment grade from Fitch Ratings late last month.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: balance of payments , BOP , BSP , Business , economy , Foreign Exchange , Remittances

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace