BSP Officer-in-Charge Alberto V. Reyes announced today that the gross international reserves (GIR) as of end-February 2000 dropped to $14.59 billion from $14.77 billion a month ago, and about 3.4 percent lower than the end-December 1999 level of $15.11 billion. This was equivalent to 4.2 months of imports of goods and payments of services.
The decline in GIR was due largely to higher debt servicing of maturing obligations of the national government.
The Officer-in-Charge also reiterated that the BSP has shifted to the revised accounting of international reserves as recommended by the international monetary fund (IMF) since January 2000. Under the revised system, gold swap transaction is now considered as a loan transaction with gold as collateral. Thus, gold remains as part of reserves. In the old treatment, gold swap is treated as sale of gold. This implies that gold holdings are reduced by such a swap transaction.
Another feature of the revised system is the inclusion of BSP’s accrued interest payable in its short-term liabilities and as a result, the level of net international reserves (NIR) is reduced. NIR is derived by deducting BSP’s short-term liabilities and IMF borrowings from the gross international reserves.
At $14.59 billion, the GIR is short of about $2.82 billion to meet the end-2000 target of $17.412 billion under the IMF program.