The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) rose to a new record high of US$36.1 billion as of end-February 2008. This was US$1.3 billion higher than the previous month’s level of US$34.8 billion. The current GIR level could cover 6.3 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. It was also equivalent to 5.2 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.3 times based on residual maturity. 1
The significant increase in reserves was attributed mainly to the National Government’s (NG) deposit of proceeds from the reopening of its global bonds, as well as the Bangko Sentral’s (BSP) net FX operations and income from its investments abroad. These inflows were partly offset, however, by payments of maturing foreign exchange obligations of the NG and the BSP.
The level of net international reserves (NIR), including revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, stood at US$36.1 billion from US$34.8 billion at end-January 2008. 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.