Dollar reserves slip back below $100-B mark
The Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR) likely eased to $99.31 billion in February after a brief rise above the $100-billion mark in January amid the servicing of foreign debt and the lower value of gold.
According to preliminary data for February at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), $1.5 billion flowed out of the dollar stash that was pegged at $100.67 billion at the end of January.
“The latest GIR level represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.5 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income,” the BSP said in a statement.
“Moreover, it is also about 6.1 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.1 times based on residual maturity,” it added.
Also, the regulator said the GIR’s decrease in February was mainly due to the national government’s net foreign currency withdrawals from its deposits with the BSP to settle its foreign currency debt obligations and pay for its various expenditures.
There were also “downward adjustments in the value of the BSP’s gold holdings due to the decrease in the price of gold in the international market,” it added.
—Ronnel W. Domingo
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