Preliminary data showed that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) stood at US$85.75 billion as of end-October 2016, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Officer-in-Charge Vicente S. Aquino announced today.1 This level was lower by US$0.39 billion than the end-September 2016 GIR of US$86.14 billion due mainly to outflows arising from payments made by the National Government (NG) for its maturing foreign exchange obligations, foreign exchange operations of the BSP and revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market. These were partially offset by the reclassification of Renminbi-denominated accounts from non-reserve to reserve eligible assets and the NG’s net foreign currency deposits, along with the BSP’s income from investments abroad. The Monetary Board approved the inclusion of the Chinese Renminbi in the official international reserves of the BSP effective 13 October 2016 to ensure the availability of the said currency to the banking system in consideration of the rising economic and financial importance of China.
The end-October 2016 GIR level can cover 10.0 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. It is also equivalent to 6.1 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.4 times based on residual maturity.2
Net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, also decreased by US$0.39 billion to US$85.74 billion as of end-October 2016, compared to the end-September 2016 NIR of US$86.13 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.