Preliminary data showed that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) rose to US$80.3 billion as of end-February 2014, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.1 This level was higher by US$0.8 billion than the end-January 2014 GIR of US$79.5 billion. The level of reserves remains comfortable as it can amply cover 11.5 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. The GIR is also equivalent to 7.9 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.7 times based on residual maturity.2
The increase in reserves was due mainly to the revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings, as well as the BSP’s foreign exchange operations and income from investments. These inflows were partially offset by payments of the National Government (NG) for its maturing foreign exchange obligations.
Net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, also increased by US$0.8 billion to reach US$80.3 billion as of end-February 2014, compared to the end-January 2014 NIR of US$79.5 billion.
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.