Central Bank posts profit after four years
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) posted a profit in January for the first time since 2010 as individual deposits flowed out of central bank vaults, according to records released this week.
After four years in the red, the central bank finally went back in the black at the start of the year mainly due to a steep reduction in interest expenses and gains culled from foreign exchange fluctuations.
In January, the Bangko Sentral posted a net income of P5.92 billion—a turnaround from a net loss of P6.69 billion in the same month last year.
But the central bank’s revenues only reached P2.76 billion—24 percent lower than that seen in the same period last year.
Lower revenues were offset by a drop in expenses to P5.13 billion, from the P8.25 billion reported in January 2013.
About P3.93 billion of this was made up of interest expense, data showed.
The BSP’s biggest boost came from foreign exchange movements. The value of the BSP’s dollar-denominated assets rose because of the peso’s movements at the start of the year. It helped the central bank post a gain of P8.29 billion from foreign exchange fluctuations.
For the whole of 2013, the BSP posted a net loss of P24.26 billion.
This was preceded by P95.38 billion in losses in 2012, P33.36 billion losses in 2011, and P33.69 billion losses in 2010.
The BSP’s losses ballooned in previous years as banks parked more and more cash with the central bank’s special deposit accounts (SDA), one of the monetary authority’s main sterilization tools.
Cash in SDAs reached a peak of over P2 trillion early last year.
In response to this buildup, the BSP slashed SDA yields to record lows. In November 2013, a ban on individual investors’ access to the SDA also took effect, forcing banks to withdraw their funds from the facility.
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