The country’s preliminary gross international reserves (GIR) level as of end-December 2011 stood at US$75.1 billion, higher by US$12.7 billion compared to the end-December 2010 GIR of US$62.4 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.1
Factors which contributed to the appreciable year-on-year increase in the reserves level included inflows from the foreign exchange operations and income from investments abroad of the BSP, bond issuances and other foreign borrowings by the National Government (NG), and revaluation gains on the BSP’s gold and foreign currency-denominated reserves. These inflows were partially offset, however, by payments by the NG and the BSP for their maturing foreign exchange obligations.
The build-up of reserve assets in 2011 was due mainly to sustained foreign exchange inflows from overseas Filipinos’ remittances, business process outsourcing (BPO) services receipts, and direct and portfolio investments. The preliminary end-December 2011 GIR could cover 11.1 months worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. It was also equivalent to 10.5 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 6.8 times based on residual maturity.2
The end-December 2011 GIR, however, was lower by US$1.1 billion than the previous month’s level of US$76.2 billion, on account mainly of the negative revaluation on the BSP’s gold and foreign currency-denominated reserves and debt service payments by the NG.
Net international reserves (NIR), which include revaluation of reserve assets, rose to US$75.1 billion as of end-December 2011, higher by US$12.7 billion compared to the year-ago NIR level of US$62.4 billion. NIR refers to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities.
1 The final data on GIR are released to the public every 19th day of the month in the Statistics section of the BSP’s website under the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS). If the 19th day of the month falls on a weekend or is a non-working holiday, the release date shall be the working day nearest to the 19th.
2 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.