The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) rose to a record US$23.76 billion at end-January 2007. The current GIR level was US$0.79 billion higher than the end-December 2006 level of US$22.97 billion. Robust foreign exchange inflows continued during the month, on the back of strong market confidence that has been sustained by the improving macroeconomic fundamentals. In particular, the rise in reserves was due in part to the National Government’s (NG) deposit of the proceeds from its US$1.0 billion global bond issue, which was well received by local and foreign investors. In terms of reserve adequacy, the end-January 2007 GIR level could cover about 4.6 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. This level is also equivalent to 4.2 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 2.5 times based on residual maturity.1
Net international reserves (NIR), including revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, likewise rose to US$23.74 billion from the end-2006 level of US$22.95 billion. NIR refers to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities.
1 Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding external debt with original maturity of one year or less, plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.