Weaker peso raises gov’t debt to P6.42T
As the peso slid last month to its lowest in nearly 11 years, the national government’s outstanding debt inched up to a record high of P6.42 trillion at the end of the first six months.
The latest Bureau of the Treasury data released yesterday showed that the outstanding government liabilities as of end-June rose 1.1 percent from P6.34 trillion last May and 7.9 percent from P5.95 trillion in June last year.
End-June domestic debt, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total, increased by 1.2 percent to P4.19 trillion from P4.14 trillion a month ago “primarily due to the net issuance of government securities amounting to P48.72 billion and peso depreciation that increased the value of onshore dollar bonds by P340 million,” the Treasury said.
The Treasury noted that the peso weakened to 50.449 to $1 in end-June from 49.761 in May.
On a year-on-year basis, domestic obligations jumped 9.3 percent from P3.83 trillion during the first half of last year.
As for external debt, this increased by 1 percent to P2.23 trillion from end-May’s P2.21 trillion.
The Treasury attributed the month-on-month increase in foreign debt “largely to the impact of the peso depreciation against the US dollar amounting to P30.53 billion.”
The effect of the weaker peso “more than offset the upward revaluation of third currency-denominated debt amounting to P5.13 billion and net repayments worth P2.49 billion” in June, the Treasury added.
Compared with a year ago, the end-June external debt climbed 5.2 percent from last year’s P2.12 trillion.
As for the national government’s outstanding guaranteed debt, these slightly declined by 0.1 percent month-on-month to P493.18 billion at the end of the first semester.
“The reduction was principally due to net repayments on both external and domestic guarantees amounting to P1.05 billion and P1.78 billion, respectively, alongside the P1.58 billion effect of third currency revaluation. These more than offset the P3.97-billion effect of the weaker peso,” the Treasury explained.
The guaranteed obligations also dropped by a faster 12.4 percent from P563.29 billion in 2016. —BEN O. DE VERA
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