THE country’s gross international reserves (GIR) exceeded $100 billion as of end-October, the highest level in six months, according to the latest report of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
The data showed the country’s GIR reached $101.09 billion at the end of October 2023, the highest since April when it reached $101.76 billion.
The GIR in October 2023 was 7.51 percent higher than the $94.03 billion in October 2022 and 3.03 percent more than the $98.12 billion in September 2023.
“The GIR level reflected mainly the National Government’s [NG] net foreign currency deposits with the BSP, which include proceeds from its issuance of Retail Onshore Dollar Bonds 2 [RDB 2],” BSP said.
“[It also includes] the upward valuation adjustments in the value of the BSP’s gold holdings due to the increase in the price of gold in the international market, and the BSP’s net foreign exchange operations and net income from its investments abroad,” it added.
The BSP’s reserve assets consist of foreign investments, gold, foreign exchange, reserve position in the IMF, and special drawing rights.
Based on the data, the BSP’s gold holdings reached $10.57 billion in October 2023. This is the highest since January 2021 when gold holdings reached $10.69 billion.
In terms of foreign investments, this reached $84.79 billion, the highest since May 2022 when this was recorded at $87.95 billion.
The BSP also said the net international reserves, which refers to the difference between the BSP’s reserve assets and reserve liabilities increased to $100.4 billion in October 2023.
This was higher by $2.3 billion from the end-September 2023 level of $98.1 billion. BSP noted that reserve liabilities are short-term foreign debt and credit and loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The latest GIR level represents a more-than-adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.5 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income,” BSP also said of the overall GIR in October.
“Moreover, it is also about 5.9 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.7 times based on residual maturity,” it added.
By convention, BSP said the GIR is viewed to be adequate if it can finance at least three months’ worth of the country’s imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
The level of GIR, as of a particular period, is considered adequate, if it provides at least 100 percent cover for the payment of the country’s foreign liabilities, public and private, falling due within the immediate 12-month period.
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