Foreign reserves fell to $80.3b in November
Gross international reserves fell for a fourth straight month in November, on lower precious metal prices that affected the value of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ gold holdings.
Data from the Bangko Sentral showed the GIR declined slightly to $80.3 billion in November from $80.4 billion in October, as the government also settled maturing foreign exchange obligations. The November figure also dropped from $81.45 billion worth of reserves registered a year ago.
Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said in statement one reason for the decrease in reserves was the revaluation adjustments in gold holdings resulting from the lower prices of the precious metal in the world market.
“These were partially offset by the net foreign currency deposits of the national government and income from the BSP’s investments abroad,” Fonacier said.
She said the end-November reserves remained adequate as it could cover 8.4 months worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It was also equivalent to 5.4 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.7 times based on residual maturity.
Net international reserves, which refer to the difference between GIR and total short-term liabilities, decreased by $0.1 billion to $80.3 billion as of end-November, from the October NIR level of $80.4 billion.
Reserves hit an all-time high of $86.139 billion in September 2016. Reserves ended 2016 at $80.69 billion, nearly unchanged from $80.66 billion in 2015.
The Bangko Sentral expects reserves to end 2017 at $80.5 billion, on expected balance of payments deficit of $500 million.