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Outstanding External Debt Registers 0.4 Percent Growth in December


Bangko Sentral Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura reported today that as of end- December 2000, the country’s outstanding external debt approved by/registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas stood at US$52.060 billion, slightly up by 0.4 percent (or US$214 million) from the third quarter level of US$51.846 billion.

Net borrowings (excess of availments over repayments) were recorded for the public sector (with National Government transactions yielding a net inflow of US$499 million) as well as the private sector (US$712 million), but these were partially offset by negative revaluation adjustments (US$889 million) arising largely from the continued weakening of the Japanese Yen against the US Dollar (from JPY107.58 in September to JPY114.46 by end-2000).

The maturity profile of outstanding debt remained favorable, with medium and long-term accounts constituting the bulk (88.6 percent) of the total and the weighted average maturity of these accounts at about 17 years. The country’s external position likewise remained comfortable with Gross International Reserves equivalent to about 2-1/2 times the level of outstanding short-term accounts.

Obligations of the public sector (consisting of the National Government, government-owned and controlled corporations, Bangko Sentral and other government financial institutions) represented about two-thirds of total external debt, with the private sector accounting for the balance.

Almost half (48 percent) of outstanding external debt was owed to official creditors (foreign governments and their export credit agencies as well as international financial institutions like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank) and thus, generally carry softer terms than other types of financing. More than a quarter (25.8 percent) of debt stock was in the form of debt securities (such as bonds and notes) that are generally traded in offshore capital markets. Obligations to private banks and other foreign financial institutions constituted a little over one-fifth (21.5 percent) of outstanding debt.

The currency mix was largely unchanged, with the bulk of debt stock denominated in two major currencies namely, the US Dollar (54.5 percent) and the Japanese Yen (26.9 percent); the rest are denominated in 23 other currencies.

The country’s debt service burden (principal and interest payments) remained manageable at about 12.23 percent of the estimated total value of exports of goods, services and income during the year 2000.

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