International reserves surged to $98 billion in July

The country’s gross international reserves level rose by $4.53 billion to an all-time high of $98 billion as of end-July from the end-June level of $93.47 billion, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Friday.

“The month-on-month increase reflected inflows mainly from the revaluation gains from the BSP’s gold holdings, national government’s foreign currency deposits with the BSP as well as BSP’s income from its investments abroad,” BSP said in a statement.

These inflows were partly offset, however, by the foreign currency withdrawals made by the government to pay its foreign currency debt obligations.

The end-July GIR level represents an ample external liquidity buffer, which can cushion the domestic economy against external shocks. It is equivalent to 8.9 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.

“Moreover, it is also about 7.5 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.9 times based on residual maturity,” it said.

Similarly, the net international reserves, which refers to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, increased $4.52 billion to $97.99 billion as of end-July 2020 from the end-June 2020 level of $93.47 billion.

The reserves last year reached $87.84 billion and surpassed the $85-billion level projected earlier by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the year. The end-2019 level was also significantly higher than the end-2018 reserves of $79.2 billion.

For 2020, the BSP expects reserves to settle at $90 billion and increase further to $91 billion in 2021.

Topics: gross international reserves , Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas , foreign currency debt
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