The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) hit another record high at US$24.7 billion as of end-March 2007, up by US$0.2 billion from the end-February 2007 level of US$24.5 billion. The increase in reserves was due mainly to the National Government’s (NG) deposit of the program loan proceeds from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), as well as the BSP’s foreign exchange operations and income from investments abroad. The build-up in GIR was achieved even as the BSP serviced its own debt and those of the NG, as well as prepaid its term loan facility (US$675 million) originally maturing in September 2007. Without this prepayment, the GIR level as of end-March 2007 would have breached the US$25.0 billion mark. In terms of reserve adequacy, the end-March 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 4.9 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 2.7 times based on residual maturity.1
Net international reserves (NIR), including revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, likewise rose to US$24.7 billion from the end-February 2007 level of US$24.5 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.