BOP surplus in H1 narrows by $1B on-yr

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But BSP hopeful of hitting $2B full-year target

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The country’s balance of payments (BOP) surplus for the first six months of the year improved slightly with a $418 million monthly surplus in June, but still trails 2015’s first-half level by more than $1 billion, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released on Tuesday showed.

Through June, the cumulative surplus for 2016 now stands at $634 million, $1.05 billion or 37.7 percent lower than the $1.68 billion surplus registered in the first half of 2015.

Nonetheless, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. told reporters that BSP’s $2-billion surplus projection for 2016 is attainable, as the foreign exchange flows during the rest of the year is expected to improve.

“In fact, we have seen it starting already in July. If you look at financial markets in July, they have been improving. The stock market, for instance, has breached the 8,000 level,” he explained.

The June surplus of $418 million was 73.4 percent higher than the $241 million surplus in May, but down by 13.8 percent from the $485 million surplus in June 2015.

Foreign exchange operations and income from its investments abroad, and net dollar deposits from the national government are cited as factor contributing the BOP surplus so far this year.

“But then,” Tetangco said, “there was a partial offset coming from debt servicing by the national government.”

The total surplus last year was $2.62 billion, a reversal of a $2.86 billion deficit in 2014.

The BOP summarizes the country’s economic transactions with the rest of the world over a certain period. It consists of the current account, capital account and the financial account.

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