BSP Officer-in-Charge Alberto V. Reyes announced today that the Gross International Reserves (GIR) as of end-January 2000 stood at $14.78 billion, about 2.2 percent lower than the end-December 1999 level of $15.1 billion. This was equivalent to 4.3 months of imports of goods and payments of services.
The decline in reserves was due mainly to higher debt servicing of maturing obligations of the national government.
Meanwhile, the BSP is now adopting beginning January 2000 the revised accounting of international reserves as recommended by the international monetary fund, particularly relating to the new treatment of gold swap. Gold, under a swap arrangement with a non-central bank, remains to be part of reserves. However, a liability is deemed incurred corresponding to the proceeds of the swap. Previously, this arrangement was considered as sale of gold with commitment to repurchase.
Consistent with this revised accounting, the BSP’s net international reserves for end-January 2000 stood at $11.5 billion. This resulted in an overall bop deficit of $309 million for the first month of the year. NIR is measured by deducting from GIR the BSP’s short-term liabilities and borrowings from the IMF. The change in the level of NIR determines the bop position.
At $14.78 billion, the BSP’s reserves level is short of about $2.63 billion, compared to the end-2000 target of $17.412 billion under the program.