GIR level rises to $75.49 bil­lion in Novem­ber

Manila Bulletin - - Business News - By LEE C. CHIPONGIAN NESTOR A. ESPE­NILLA JR.

The coun­try’s gross in­ter­na­tional re­serves (GIR) went up to $75.49 bil­lion as of end-Novem­ber from $74.71 bil­lion of the pre­vi­ous month, the Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas (BSP) said.

In a state­ment, BSP Gov­er­nor Nestor A. Espe­nilla Jr. said re­serves were higher from in­flows aris­ing from the cen­tral bank’s for­eign ex­change op­er­a­tions and its in­come from its in­vest­ments abroad.

“How­ever, the in­crease in the GIR level was par­tially tem­pered by the pay­ments made by the Na­tional Gov­ern­ment for its for­eign ex­change obli­ga­tions and its net for­eign cur­rency with­drawals as well as the reval­u­a­tion ad­just­ments on the BSP's gold hold­ings re­sult­ing from the de­crease in the price of gold in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket,” the BSP said.

In­cluded in the GIR are for­eign in­vest­ments to­talling $61 bil­lion and gold re­serves of $7.77 bil­lion.

The end-Novem­ber GIR level as far as BSP is con­cerned is still con­sid­ered “am­ple ex­ter­nal liq­uid­ity buf­fer” de­spite that it is lower com­pared to same time last year of $80.31 bil­lion.

Cur­rent level is equiv­a­lent to 6.9 months' worth of the coun­try’s im­ports of goods and pay­ments of ser­vices and pri­mary in­come.

It is also equiv­a­lent to 5.8 times short-term ex­ter­nal debt based on orig­i­nal ma­tu­rity and 4.1 times based on resid­ual ma­tu­rity, said the BSP.

For 2018, the BSP’s GIR pro­jec­tion is $80 bil­lion. Last year re­serves amounted to $81.57 bil­lion.

The BSP has started to ac­cu­mu­late for­eign ex­change to beef up its US dol­lar stock when the peso re­gained lost ground at the last month.

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