PH forex reserves post third monthly decline in April
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' foreign exchange reserves dropped for the third straight month in April due mainly to foreign debt payments made by the government.
In a statement on Monday, May 7, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that the country's gross international reserves (GIR) stood at $75.97 billion at end-April, lower than March's $76.13 billion.
This was the third month that the GIR declined this year. The first time was in February, when it reached $77.01 billion.
The GIR – the sum of all foreign currencies flowing into the country – hit a record level of $77.36 billion in January.
Aside from debt payments, the BSP said it booked revaluation losses on its gold holdings on account of the decline in the price of the precious commodity.
"However, these outflows were largely offset by income from investments abroad of the BSP and foreign currency deposits by authorized agent banks," the central bank said.
GIR is an indicator of the country's ability to pay for imports and debts in foreign currencies.
According to the BSP, the end-April figure could cover 11.4 months worth of imports of goods and services, and was 10.8 times the country's short term external debt based on original maturity.
The BSP expects the GIR to hit a record $79 billion in 2012. - Rappler.com