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Dollar reserves rise to $80.78B in August

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday reported that end-August gross international reserves (GIR) went up to $80.78 billion from $80.64 billion in the previous month enough to cover import payments for the next 11 months.

In a statement, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said the GIR level remains sufficient to cover the country’s requirements for imports of goods and payments of services and income. At this level, this will last for 11 months.

Tetangco also said there is enough foreign currency stock or about 7.9 times short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.7 times on residual maturity.

The current GIR level is however lower compared to the same time in 2013 of $82.89 billion. Last year’s GIR totaled $83.18 billion by December.

As of end-August, the BSP’s gold hoard amounted to $8 billion, same as in July. Foreign investments comprised bulk of reserves at $69.96 billion but this was slightly lower compared to the previous month’s $70 billion.

Tetangco explained earlier that all significant external account numbers are expected to be lower this year, or even previously projected. This is because of the current financial environment and the country’s higher import requirements for reconstruction projects following the November 8, 2013’s super typhoon’s Yolanda’s wreckage of Eastern Visayas region.

GIR as reported by the BSP is composed of foreign exchange, investments, gold, special drawing rights (or SDRs of the IMF), reserve position with the International Fund (IMF), and other reserve assets, and foreign currency assets. (Lee Chipongian)