The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) stood at $16.815 billion as of end-December 2003, slightly lower compared to the end-November level of $16.826 billion. The end-December 2003 GIR level was favorably higher than the $16 billion year-end target set by the Monetary Board. In terms of reserve adequacy ratios, the end-December 2003 GIR level was adequate to cover 4.7 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. Alternatively, the current GIR level was equivalent to 2.9 times the country’s short-term debt based on original maturity and 1.5 times based on residual maturity. Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding short-term external debt on original maturity plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.
The slight decline in reserves in December 2003 was mainly due to the debt service requirements of the National Government (NG) and the BSP. These outflows were, however, offset by the deposit by the NG with the BSP of its loan proceeds from the ADB’s Air Quality Improvement and Pasig River Management Development Program Loans, JBIC’s co-financing of Air Quality Improvement Loan, as well as proceeds from sale by NG of its holdings of NPC bonds due 2010.
The BSP’s net international reserves (BSP-NIR) level as of end-December 2003, inclusive of revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, increased to $13.812 billion compared to $13.737 billion a month ago.