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GIR dipped slightly in end-May–BSP

The Philippines’s gross international reserves (GIR) took a slight drop as of end-May this year but still remained adequate to finance unexpected imbalances in foreign inflows, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

GIR, or the country’s readily available foreign resources used to finance and manage the effect of possible imbalance of foreign inflows, stood at $82.9 billion, or about $320 million lower than April’s $83.2 billion.

The central bank said that despite the slight decrease, the country’s GIR was still enough to cover 11.7 months worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. The $82.9-billion reserve is also equivalent to 9.8 times the country’s short-term external debt, based on original maturity and about 6.6 times, based on residual maturity, the BSP said in a statement.

The dip in the country’s international reserves can be traced partly to the drop in the price of gold in the international market.

Gold reserves in the central bank posted about $8.64 billion in worth by end of May. This is about $380 million lower than April’s gold reserve worth $9.02 billion.

“The slight decline in the reserves was due mainly to revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings arising from the decrease in the prices of gold in the international market, payments for maturing foreign-exchange obligations of the national government and foreign-currency withdrawals by a government corporation,” the BSP said.

These outflows, according to the central bank, were partially balanced by inflows from the foreign-exchange operations and income from foreign investments, as well as foreign-currency deposits by the national government.

Foreign investments rose by about $300 million from $71.19 billion in April to about $71.50 billion in May.

The country’s net international reserves, which refers to the difference between the GIR and total short-term liabilities, also decreased by about $300 million, according to the central bank.

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