ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippine reserves continue rising
In a statement, the BSP said the gross international reserves (GIR) jumped by 30.6 percent to reach US$68.8 billion at end-May from the $47.7 billion in the same period last year. The May figure also increased 0.4 percent from the $68.5 billion recorded at end-April this year.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the sustained rise in the reserves level was mainly because of the foreign exchange operations and income from investments abroad of the central bank.
Foreign investments surged 33 percent to $59.246 billion at end-May compared with $39.5 billion in the same period last year.
Foreign exchange operations resulted in a 10 percent increase to $374.72 million from $338.18 million at end-April.
These inflows were partly trimmed by payments of the national government for its maturing foreign exchange obligations as well as revaluation losses on the BSP's gold holdings on account of the month-on-month decline in gold prices in May.
Gold holdings of the BSP slowed by 0.11 percent to reach $7.589 billion from end-April's $7.598 billion.
Tetangco said the preliminary end-May GIR could cover 10.6-months worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income.
It was also equivalent to 10.9 times the country's short-term external debt based on original maturity and six times based on residual maturity.
Net international reserves (NIR), which include revaluation of reserve assets, reached $68.7 billion at end-May, higher by $0.2 billion than the end-April figure of $68.5 billion.
NIR refers to the difference between the GIR and total short-term liabilities. The BSP holds international reserves for the foreign exchange requirements of the country in case the domestic commercial banks' supply of the greenback and other convertible currencies falls short of demand.
The foreign assets that the BSP held are mostly in the form of investments in foreign-issued securities, monetary gold and foreign exchange, of which 13 percent is in the US dollars.
Monetary authorities are looking at higher growth assumptions in the country's GIR this year at $70 billion.
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