The country’s gross international reserves which serve as a buffer against external risks climbed to a 31-month high of $85.02 billion in May 2019, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show.
The reserves increased by more than $1 billion from $83.9 billion in April and by $6 billion from $79.2 billion from a year ago. It was the highest since October 2016 when it reached $85.2 billion.
“At this level, GIR serves as an ample external liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 7.5 months’ worth
of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.1 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.6 times based on residual maturity,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.
“The month-on-month increase in the GIR level was 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, and revaluation gains from the BSP’s gold holdings, resulting from the increase in the price of gold in the international market,” he said.
However, the increase in reserves was tempered partially by payments made by the national government for servicing its foreign exchange obligations.
Net international reserves, which refer to the difference between the GIR and total short-term liabilities, also increased by $1.14 billion to $85 billion as of end-May 2019 from the April 2019 level of $83.86 billion.
Reserves hit an all-time high of $86.139 billion in September 2016.