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PHL foreign reserves reach $81.4 B

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MANILA — Foreign currency reserves of the Philippines reached USD81.4 billion as of end-June 2017, a three-month low, but still higher than the revised full-year target of US$80.5 billion.


Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) show that the foreign reserves of the country at the end of the first half of the year is lower than last May’s US$82.18 billion and year-ago’s US$85.28 billion.


BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., in a statement, traced the decline of the reserves to the central bank’s foreign exchange operations, payments made by the national government of its maturing foreign debt and decline in the value of central bank’s gold holdings, with the latter due to drop of gold prices in the international market.


He said the country’s current level of foreign reserves was equivalent to cover 8.7 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income, higher than the 8.3 months’ worth of cover of the full-year target.


The latest foreign reserves, on the other hand, got a boost from net foreign currency deposits by the national government and income from the central bank’s investments overseas, he said.


During the same period, net international reserves (NIR) or the difference between the central bank’s foreign reserves and total short-term debt, amounted to USD81.39 billion from the previous month’s US$82.16 billion.

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