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Forex reserves soar to $85.90b

The gross international reserves of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas rose to a record $85.90 billion at the end of September this year from $85.79 billion a month ago, the central bank said in a statement Friday.

The September figure surpassed Bangko Sentral’s reserves target of $82.7 billion this year.

Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. attributed the increase mainly from the national government’s net foreign currency deposits, Bangko Sentral’s foreign exchange operations and income from investments abroad.

Contributing to the rise was the revaluation adjustments on Bangko Sentral’s gold holdings resulting from the increase in the price of the precious metal in the international market.

They were partially offset by payments made by the national government for maturing foreign exchange obligations.

“The end-September GIR level can cover 10 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. It is also equivalent to six times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.3 times based on residual maturity,” Espenilla said.

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.

Data showed the value of gold holdings in September rose to $8.31 billion from $8.26 billion a month ago.

Net international reserves, which refer to the difference between Bangko Sentral’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, also increased by $0.11 billion to $85.89 billion from the end-August NIR of $85.78 billion.

The Bangko Sentral expects reserves to rise to $82.7 billion by the end of 2016, or equivalent to nine months’ import cover. The increase would be triggered by the expected stability in the overall balance of payments surplus this year of $2 billion, the same level as in 2015.

The current account surplus this year is expected to be slightly higher at $5.8 billion, equivalent to 1.9 percent of the gross domestic product, compared to $5.7 billion in the December 2015 estimate.

Topics: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas , gross international reserves , Forex reserves
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