The country’s gross international reserves rose to $83.2 billion as of end-March from $82.78 billion as of end-February, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said Friday.
“The GIR level rose due mainly to inflows arising from the national government’s net foreign currency deposits, BSP’s foreign exchange operations and income from its investments abroad,” Diokno said in a statement.
However, the increase in reserves was tempered partially by payments made by the government for servicing its foreign exchange obligations, as well as revaluation losses from the BSP’s gold holdings, resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market.
“The end-March 2019 level of GIR serves as an ample external liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 7.3 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income,” he said.
The reserves were also equivalent to five times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.4 times based on residual maturity.
Net international reserves, which refers to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, also increased by $0.42 billion to $83.19 billion as of end-March 2019 from the end-February 2019 level of $82.77 billion.
Reserves hit an all-time high of $86.139 billion in end-September 2016.
The Bangko Sentral sees the country’s gross international reserves settling at $77 billion in 2019 due to weak balance of payments numbers.
Current account, one of the main components of the BoP, posted a record deficit of $7.9 billion in 2018.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo earlier said the all-time high deficit was about 2 percent of the gross national income and 2.4 percent of the gross domestic product.