PH gross foreign reserves drop to 3-mth low


The Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR) hit a three-month low of $81.41 billion in June, falling from previous levels amid dollar outflows from the central bank’s foreign exchange operations and debt payments, as well as gold revaluation adjustments.

“These were partially offset by the net foreign currency deposits by the national government and income from the BSP’s investments abroad,” the central bank said in a statement.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday showed gross reserves in June declined 0.92 percent, or about $764 million, from $82.17 billion in May. The June level marked the lowest since the GIR dropped to $80.89 billion in March this year.

The central bank provided no explanation for the 4.53 percent or $3.87 billion drop from $85.28 billion recorded in June 2016.

The GIR is the sum of the country’s transactions with the rest of the world, consisting of the reserve position with the International Monetary Fund, foreign exchange holdings, gold reserves, special drawing rights (SDRs) and foreign investments.

Net international reserves—the difference between the GIR and total short-term liabilities—fell to $81.39 billion from $82.16 billion in May.

The country’s foreign reserves in June were enough to cover 8.7 months worth of imports, down from 8.8 months of import cover in May, and from 9.9 months a year earlier, the central bank said.

Against the country’s foreign debt, the GIR in June was equivalent to 5.6 times the short-term external obligations due within one year and 3.8 times based on residual maturity, the BSP added.


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