The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) reached $16.153 billion as of end-December 2002, higher by 2.5 percent relative to the end-November 2002 level of $15.752 billion. At this level, the GIR was equivalent to 5.0 months of imports of goods and payment of services and income. In terms of short-term debt coverage, the end-December GIR was equivalent to 2.8 times based on original maturity or 1.3 times based on residual maturity.
During the period, reserves rose following the deposit by the National Power Corporation (NPC) of the proceeds of the flotation of its Zero Coupon Notes and PSALM’s bond issuance in Japanese yen to prefund the NPC’s 2003 foreign exchange requirements. The increase in reserves was partly offset, however, by the debt service requirements of the National Government and the BSP.
The BSP’s net international reserves (BSP-NIR) as of end-December 2002 similarly increased to $12.814 billion from $12.424 billion a month ago.