The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) climbed to $16.887 billion as of end-October 2003, $725 million or 4.5 percent higher compared to the end-September level of $16.162 billion. This GIR level was adequate to cover 4.7 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. Using other reserve coverage measures, the current GIR 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 twelve (12) months.
The growth in reserves during the period was attributed mainly to the deposit by the National Government with the BSP of the proceeds from the reopening of the Global Bond as well as the BSP’s availment of a three-year syndicated term loan facility with several banks. These inflows were, however, offset by foreign exchange debt service requirements of the National Government and the BSP.
The BSP’s net international reserves (BSP-NIR) level as of end-October 2003, inclusive of revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, similarly increased to $13.582 billion, up by $994 million or 7.9 percent from $12.588 billion a month ago.