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End-May dollar reserves down

/ 05:39 AM June 08, 2018

The country’s dollar reserves held by the central bank declined slightly at the end of May due to foreign exchange outflows and debt repayments of the government, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said yesterday.

In a statement, the BSP said the Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR) level at the end of last month slid marginally to $78.97 billion from the end-April 2018 level of $79.61 billion.

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BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the decline in the GIR level was also due to revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings.

These were partially tempered by the government’s net foreign currency deposits and the BSP’s income from its investments abroad.

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“Nonetheless, the end-May 2018 level of GIR serves as an ample external liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 7.7 months’ worth of imports of goods, and payments of services and primary income,” Espenilla said.

It is also equivalent to 5.4 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.9 times based on residual maturity.

Net international reserves also dropped by $0.64 billion to $78.95 billion as of end-May 2018 from the end-April 2018 level of $79.59 billion.—DAXIM L. LUCAS

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