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Stronger peso tempers rising PH debt

The national government’s debt stock settled at P7.79 trillion as of end-April, easing slightly by P15.4 billion or 0.2 percent from the March level as the peso strengthened against the US dollar.

Compared to the same period in 2018, the country’s debt stock jumped by P912.1 billion or 13.3 percent.

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Of the latest figure, one-third was sourced from foreign lenders while two-thirds were borrowed from domestic sources.

Domestic debt was pegged at P5.2 trillion, 0.2 percent or P8.6 billion higher than the previous month’s level.

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“For April, net issuance of government securities amounting to P8.82 billion brought an increase in the level of domestic portfolio while (there was a reduction of P270 million) due to revaluation of onshore dollar bonds due to peso appreciation,” the Bureau of the Treasury said in a statement.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed the peso appreciated to an average of P52.1122 against the US dollar as of end-April from P52.4134 as of end-March.

External debt reached P2.58 trillion, 0.9 percent or P24 billion lower month-on-month. The BTr said this was due to the downward adjustments of both US dollar and third-currency denominated debt —at P26.29 billion and P280 million, respectively.

The Treasury said such reduction offset the net availment —more new loans incurred exceeded repayments—of foreign loans amounting to P2.57 billion.

As of April, government debt paper pegged in US dollars amounted to an equivalent of P1.34 trillion while Japanese yen and Chinese yuan loans stood at P118.9 billion and P11.4 billion, respectively.

Total government-guaranteed debt went up by P3.3 billion or 0.7 percent month-on-month to P483 billion. The decrease was attributed to the net issuance of both domestic and external guarantees amounting to P6.44 billion and P0.24 billion, respectively.

“However, this was tempered by the downward adjustments on both peso and third currency denominated guarantees which trimmed P2.91 billion and P0.45 billion, respectively,” the Treasury said.

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bureau of the Treasury, debt stock, Peso, US dollar
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