BSP Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura announced today that the Gross International Reserves (GIR) as of end-November stood at $14.7 billion, about 36 percent higher than the end-December 1998 level of $10.8 billion. This was equivalent to 4.2 months of import of goods and payments of services.
The build-up in reserves can be attributed to the favorable developments in the balance of payments particularly the continued strength of exports. Overall BOP for the first eight months of 1999 stood at $3.0 billion. Likewise, foreign loan availments also contributed to the stock of reserves including the $400 million proceeds of the BSP syndicated loan and $260 million by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (formerly JEXIM/OECF) representing the balance of the loan to the National Power Corporation under the Miyazawa plan.
These developments brought the net international reserves to $11.5 billion, and the estimated overall BOP to $3.4 billion for the first 11 months of 1999 compared to the year-ago level of $1.2 billion. At $14.7 billion, the BSP has almost met the $14.73 billion target level for the end-December 1999 under the current IMF standby program.