End-2015 GIR falls short of BSP target

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THE country’s gross international reserves (GIR) at the end of 2015 rose slightly to $80.61 billion but missed the $80.7 billion forecast of the central bank, data released on Thursday showed.

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Although below forecast, the reserves are ample enough to finance 10.3 months’ worth of imports or maturing obligations.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the end-December GIR increased 0.6 percent from November and was up 1.4 percent from $79.54 billion a year earlier.

The modest uptick was due to net foreign currency deposits by the national government, plus income from the BSP’s foreign exchange operations and investments abroad.
Dollar inflows were partially offset by national government payments of maturing obligations.

The latest GIR level is also equivalent to 5.5 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and four times based on residual maturity, the BSP added.

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