The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) reached an all-time high of US$20.504 billion, up by 10.9 percent from the end-December 2005 level of US$18.495 billion. The current GIR level was adequate to cover about 4.3 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. This level was also equivalent to 3.3 times the country’s short-term debt based on original maturity and 1.8 times based on residual maturity. 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.
The new record high GIR level was attributed mainly to the deposit by the National Government of its proceeds from the RP Global Bond and Euro Bond, as well as the Bangko Sentral’s income from investments abroad. The NG borrowings will be used to cover the government’s foreign exchange requirements this year. These inflows were, however, partly offset by payments of maturing foreign exchange obligations of the National Government (NG) and the BSP.
Net international reserves, including revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, increased to US$19.859 billion, higher by 12.5 percent from the end-December 2005 level of US$17.659 billion.