The gross international reserves fell $503 million in November, as the value of Bangko Sentral’s gold holdings decreased and the government paid some of its foreign debts.
Bangko Sentral said foreign reserves fell to $80.572 billion as of end-November from $81.097 billion in October.
Data showed that on a year-on-year basis, reserves increased by $1.893 billion or 2.3 percent from $78.679 billion in November 2014.
“The end-November 2015 GIR level remains ample as it can cover 10.3 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income,” Bangko Sentral Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a statement.
The amount was also equivalent to six times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.2 times based on residual maturity.
Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding external debt with original maturity of one year or less, plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.
“The decrease in reserves as of end-November 2015 was due mainly to revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market and payments by the national government for its maturing foreign exchange obligations,” Tetangco said.
Net international reserves, which refer to the difference between GIR and total short-term liabilities, also decreased by $520 million to $80.56 billion as of end-November 2015, compared to the end-October NIR of $81.08 billion.
Data showed that the value of Bangko Sentral’s gold holdings in November dropped to $6.7 billion from $7.178 billion a month ago. Foreign investments also declined to $71.081 billion from $71.362 billion in October.
Bangko Sentral officials earlier expressed optimism about meeting the GIR target of $81.6 billion this year. In 2014, international reserves stood at $79.540 billion, lower than $83.187 billion in 2013.
Bangko Sentral said the sustained strong current account surplus following the decline in international oil prices was expected to boost reserves.