PH foreign reserves down to $81.05B in December
MANILA, Philippines – The country's gross international reserves (GIR) continued to slide in December 2016, seeing its lowest level since January of that year.
Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Saturday, January 7, showed that the country's GIR fell to $81.05 billion as of end-December 2016, down by $0.4 billion from November's revised total of $81.45 billion, although higher than the December 2015 figure of $80.67 billion.
Last month's result is also the lowest level reserves have been since the $80.69 billion seen at the end of January 2016. The GIR has also been steadily dropping since reaching a record high of $86.13 billion in September.
Net international reserves (NIR), or the difference between the BSP's GIR and total short-term liabilities, also decreased by $0.40 billion to $81.03 billion as of end-December 2016, compared to the end-November 2016 NIR of $81.43 billion.
The central bank attributed the decline in reserves from November to December mainly to outflows arising from payments made by the government for maturing foreign exchange obligations, foreign exchange operations of the BSP, and revaluation adjustments on the BSP's gold holdings resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market.
These losses, the BSP noted, were partially offset by the government's net foreign currency deposits along with the BSP's income from investments abroad.
Despite the drop, the BSP said reserves remain adequate to cover 9.2 months' worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
It is also equivalent to 5.8 times the country's short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.2 times based on residual maturity. – Rappler.com