December GIR rises anew

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The country’s foreign currency buffer or the gross international reserves (GIR) improved anew in December. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) officer-in-charge Diwa Guinigundo said the foreign currency reserves stood at $78.46 billion for the month, nearly $3 billion more than the recorded $75.68 billion the previous November.

This development also furthers the GIR’s recovery from a seven-year low in October when it stood at only $74.71 billion.

The Philippines’ gold holdings in December grew to $8.15 billion from $7.77 billion made possible in part by the increase in the price of gold in the international market.

Preliminary data from the BSP show the growth was fed mainly by the inflows arising from the central bank’s foreign exchange operations and the net foreign currency deposits of the national government (NG).

“However, the increase in reserves was partially tempered by payments made by the NG for servicing its foreign exchange obligations,” the BSP said.

The GIR in December was seen as sufficient external liquidity buffer equal to 6.9 months worth of imports, retaining the same level of cover from the previous month.

Also, the amount translates to 5.8 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and four times based on residual maturity.

Likewise, the Philippines’ gold holdings in December grew to $8.15 billion from $7.77 billion made possible in part by the increase in the price of gold in the international market.

A money changer teller counts Philippine Peso in Manila on Monday, August 14, 2017. The Philippine peso has weakened 51-level to a dollar is beecause of the recent recent spats between officials of the US and North Korea. (KJ ROSALES)

Meanwhile, the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities or the net international reserves, similarly increased by $2.78 billion to $78.44 billion as of end-December 2018 from the end-November 2018 level of $75.66 billion.

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