PH November dollar reserves exceed 2012 target

MANILA, Philippines - The total dollar reserves of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) climbed to US$84.106 billion as of end- November, surpassing the full 2012 target of $83 billion as remittances, loan proceeds, gold holdings an income from overseas investments continue to hike.

A year ago, the gross international reserves (GIR) of the country stood only at $76.2 billion, reflecting a 10% increase.

Due to the health GIR level in recent years, the Philippines has dramatically transformed to become a lender for the crisis-fighting funds of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after decades of being a borrower.

The BSP attributed the increase in the reserves level to the BSP's foreign exchange operations, foreign currency deposits by the national government, revaluation of gold holdings. This despite the Philippine peso emerging as Asia's best performing currency this 2012, gaining over 7% against the dollar in 2012.

Remittances from Filipinos working overseas help support the peso and the GIR. The Philippines receives around $20 billion remittances every year, peaking during the weeks before the Christmas holiday season.

In a statement on Friday, December 7, the BSP said the GIR level -- which determines the country's ability to buy imported goods and pay debts to foreign creditors -- can cover 12.2 months worth of imports. -