PH foreign reserves rise to $81.04B in January
MANILA, Philippines – The country started the year with an increase in its gross international reserves (GIR), according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
BSP Officer-in-Charge Nestor Espenilla Jr announced on Tuesday, February 7, that the Philippines' GIR hit $81.04 billion in January 2017, higher by $0.35 billion compared to the end-December 2016 level of $80.69 billion.
The central bank attributed most of the increase to inflows arising from net foreign currency deposits by the government, revaluation adjustments on the BSP's gold holdings in the international market, and its income from investments abroad.
The value of the BSP's gold holdings rose to $7.65 billion from December 2016's $7.25 billion, due to the increase in the price of gold on the international market.
The country's foreign currency reserves also rose to $3.66 billion from $3.56 billion in December. The BSP holds reserves mainly in US dollars and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDR).
In particular, the US dollar surged at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 on expectations of 3 US Federal Reserve rate hikes. The dollar has since retreated to early December levels.
These gains were partially offset, however, by payments made by the government for maturing foreign exchange obligations and losses by the BSP's foreign exchange operations.
The central bank said the end-January 2017 GIR level can 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 4.1 times based on residual maturity.
Net international reserves (NIR), or the difference between the BSP's GIR and total short-term liabilities, likewise increased by $0.35 billion to reach $81.04 billion as of end-January 2017, compared to the end-December 2016 level of $80.69 billion. – Rappler.com