MANILA – The country's gross international reserves (GIR) amounted to USD103.4 billion as of end-January this year, slightly lower than a year ago's USD103.8 billion, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.
In a statement late Wednesday, the BSP said the decline in GIR last month "reflected mainly the National Government’s payments of its foreign currency debt obligations and downward valuation adjustments in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ gold holdings due to the decrease in the price of gold in the international market."
The BSP said however the latest GIR level represents more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.7 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
By standard, GIR is viewed to be adequate if it can finance at least three months' worth of the country's imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
It is also about 6.0 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.9 times based on residual maturity.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort said the still relatively high GIR could strengthen the country's external position.
"For the coming months the country’s GIR could still be supported by the continued growth in the country’s structural inflows from OFW (overseas Filipino worker) remittances, BPO (business process outsourcing) revenues, exports, relatively fast recovery in foreign tourism revenues, as well as continued foreign investment inflows coming from among pre-pandemic highs," he said. (PNA)