The Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR) dropped its lowest level in two years in November, with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) tracing the fall to lower gold prices and the national government’s foreign debt payments.
Central bank data released on Thursday showed the country’s foreign exchange reserves at $80.31 billion for the month, down 0.13 percent from October. A year earlier it was at $81.45 billion.
The latest GIR level was the lowest since the $80.17 billion posted in November 2015.
The month-on-month decline was “due mainly to outflows arising from payments made by the national government for its maturing foreign exchange obligations as well as revaluation adjustments on the gold holdings of the BSP resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market,” the BSP said in a statement.
These were partially offset by the net foreign currency deposits by the national government and income from the central bank’s investments abroad.
The reserves were enough to cover 8.4 months worth of imports, the same as October but lower than the 9 months recorded year earlier, central bank data showed.
They were also equivalent to 5.4 times the country’s short-term external obligations due within one year and 3.7 times based on residual maturity.
Meanwhile net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, decreased by $0.1 billion to $80.3 billion as of end-November 2017, compared to the end-October 2017 NIR of $80.4 billion.