Daily Tribune (Philippines)

February forex rises, totals $108B

- BY RAADEE S. SAUSA

Gross internatio­nal reserves (GIR) as of February reached $108.4 billion or over P5 trillion at current exchange rates, a central bank official said on Tuesday.

The latest figure represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 10.2 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said.

Moreover, it is also about 8.4 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.8 times based on residual maturity.

The month-on-month increase in the GIR level reflected mainly the upward adjustment in the value of the BSP’s gold holdings because of the increase in the price of the precious metal in the internatio­nal market and the BSP’s net income from its investment­s abroad.

Net reserves higher

“Similarly, the net internatio­nal reserves, which refer to the difference between the BSP’s reserve assets, short-term foreign debts and loans from the Internatio­nal Monetary Fund increased by $290 million to $107.97 billion as of end-February 2022 from the end-January 2022 level of $107.68 billion,” Diokno said.

Furthermor­e, “February GIR remains among the highest in a year and the fourth highest on record (near the record high of $110.1 billion posted a little over a year ago or in December 2020), partly because of lower month-on-month value of gold holdings by 4.4 percent or $403 million to $9.858 billion, largely reflecting the 6.2 percent gain in world gold price during the month; though offset by some foreign debt-payments,” Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. told

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