Philippines’ foreign assets reached $109.082 billion as of end-February, higher than $108.673 billion in January, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported.

The gross international reserves or GIR, which are invested in foreign-issued securities, monetary gold, and foreign exchange, is 11.7 months of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income, and 9.5 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity, and 5.4 times based on residual maturity.

Inflows from BSP’s foreign exchange operations and income from its investments abroad boost GIR. “These inflows were partly offset, however, by the revaluation adjustments from the BSP’s gold holdings due to the decrease in the price of gold in the international market and foreign currency withdrawals of the National Government from its deposits in the BSP to pay its foreign currency debt obligations,” said the BSP.

BSP’s foreign investments amounted to $94.613 billion in February, up from the previous month’s $92.379 billion. Gold reserves were lower at $9.170 billion from $10.692 billion. GIR also includes BSP’s foreign exchange holdings of $3.251 billion.

The current GIR is $20.895 billion higher than same time in 2020 and $409 million more than what was reported in January 2021.

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 twelve-month period, said the BSP.

At current levels, the central bank considerz the GIR as “adequate external liquidity buffer” and will “cushion the domestic economy against external shocks”.

Source: Manila Bulletin (