PH international reserves for March hit $104.8-B

THE Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR) slightly fell in March to $104.82 billion compared to the previous month, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported.

The March total is slightly lower than the $105.16 billion recorded in February, the central bank said in a statement.

The month-on-month decline in GIR level is partly due to outflows from the net withdrawal in the national government’s foreign currency deposits with the BSP, largely used for debt servicing, and the downward adjustment in the value of BSP’s gold holdings due to the decrease in the price of gold in the international market, the BSP said.

The Bangko Sentral, however, said its investments abroad offset the outflows.

The GIR level in March is equivalent to 12 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income, it said.

“The latest GIR level represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer, which can help cushion the domestic economy against external shocks,” the BSP said.

It is also about 7.5 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.3 times based on residual maturity, it said.

International reserves are funds central banks exchange with each other on an international level.

The reserves can either be in gold or in an internationally-accepted commodity like the dollar or the euro. (PR)