The country’s preliminary gross international reserves (GIR) as of end-March 2012 stood at US$76.5 billion, lower by US$0.5 billion compared to the end-February 2012 GIR of US$77.0 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. 1
The decline in the reserves level was due mainly to payments for maturing foreign exchange obligations of the National Government (NG), foreign currency withdrawals by authorized agent banks (AABs) and revaluation losses on the BSP’s gold holdings on account of the decline in the price of gold in the international market. These outflows were partially offset, however, by inflows from the foreign exchange operations and income from investments abroad of the BSP.
Notwithstanding the slightly lower GIR level, reserves continued to provide the economy with a comfortable buffer with which to withstand possible external shocks. The reserves level would be able to cover 11.5 months worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. It is also equivalent to 10.9 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 6.5 times based on residual maturity. 2
Net international reserves (NIR), which include revaluation of reserve assets, decreased by US$0.5 billion to reach US$76.5 billion as of end-March 2012, compared to the end-February 2012 NIR of US$77.0 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.