The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) reached a new record high of US$18.589 billion as of end-September 2005, up by 3.6 percent compared to US$17.944 billion last month. The end-September GIR was adequate to cover about 4.1 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. This level was also equivalent to 3.1 times the country’s short-term debt based on original maturity and 1.7 times based on residual maturity. Short-term debt based on residual maturity pertains 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 higher end-September 2005 GIR level was attributed mainly to the deposit by the National Government (NG) of proceeds of its US$1.0 billion 10-year global bond issue, as well as to the Bangko Sentral’s foreign exchange operations and income from investments abroad. The NG borrowing will be used to cover the government’s foreign exchange requirements this year. The inflows, however, were partly offset by payments of maturing foreign exchange obligations of the NG and the Bangko Sentral.
Net international reserves, inclusive of revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, reflected a 4.0 percent increase to US$17.763 billion from US$17.085 billion the previous month.