The gross international reserves declined to $99.3 billion as of end-February from $100.7 billion in January after the government settled some of its foreign debt and lower value of gold holdings of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The BSP said in a statement Thursday the February GIR level represented a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.5 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
It was also about 6.1 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.1 times based on residual maturity.
“The month-on-month decrease in the GIR level reflected mainly the national government’s net foreign currency withdrawals from its deposits with the BSP to settle its foreign currency debt obligations and pay for its various expenditures, and downward adjustments in the value of the BSP’s gold holdings due to the decrease in the price of gold in the international market,” the BSP said.
Net international reserves, which refer to the difference between the BSP’s reserve assets and reserve liabilities, also fell by $1.3 billion to $99.3 billion as of end-February from $100.6 billion a month earlier.