The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) increased to $16.306 billion as of end-March 2004. This GIR level was adequate to cover 4.5 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. Using other reserve coverage measures, this level was equivalent to 2.7 times the country’s short-term debt based on original maturity and 1.4 times based on residual maturity. Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding short-term external debt on original maturity plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.
The 3.6 percent increase in the end-March 2004 reserves from $15.733 billion as of end-February 2004 was mainly attributed to the deposit of the National Government (NG) and the MWSS with the BSP of its net loan proceeds from the RP Global Bond and the seven-year floating rate notes, respectively. This was partly offset, however, by the debt service requirements of the National Government (NG) and the BSP.
The BSP’s net international reserves (BSP-NIR) level as of end-March 2004, inclusive of revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, stood at $13.566 billion, 5.5 percent higher compared to $12.863 billion in February 2004.