Debt raised by sale of samurai bonds strengthens Philippine dollar position in April



(Philstar.com) – May 26, 2021 – 6:17 p.m.

MANILA, Philippines – Proceeds from the government’s recent sale of “samurai” bonds gave the Philippines its first dollar surplus for the year in April, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported on Wednesday.

What’s up

The country’s balance of payments (BOP) posted a surplus of $ 2.61 billion in April, breaking three consecutive months of deficit.

Why it matters

The balance of payments is a summary of a country’s economic transactions with the rest of the world during a given period. A surplus occurs when more foreign funds have entered the economy than those who have left, while a deficit means the opposite.

For 9 out of 12 months last year, the balance of payments remained in surplus after the pandemic forced the government to obtain loans abroad which, in turn, entered the country in foreign currency. This happened as dollars spent to pay off foreign obligations plummeted due to weak imports. The Philippines’ external position only returned to a deficit in January.

For this year, the central bank expects the balance of payments to post a surplus of $ 6.2 billion, down from the record high of $ 16 billion in 2020, for the good reason that activities economic factors used to drive dollar outflows are finally accelerating the pace of a crisis induced by the crisis. slump.

What the BSP says

The BSP attributed last month’s balance of payments surplus to inflows from the government’s sale of yen-denominated bonds in late March. The Duterte administration raised 55 billion yen in the offer, which was then filed with the BSP.

Other figures

  • The balance of payments surplus in April was enough to reduce the deficit by four months to $ 231 million. The latest gap since the start of the year was in part due to the country’s merchandise trade deficit and net outflows of foreign portfolio investment, the central bank said.
  • The balance of payments position reflects an increase in the final level of gross international reserves (GDI) to 107.71 billion dollars at the end of April. This gives the economy sufficient protection against external shocks and is enough to pay for 12.3 months of imports.

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