Gross international reserves edged down to $ 106.98 billion in May from $ 107.71 billion in April as the government settled some of its foreign debts, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported on Friday. “The month-over-month decline reflects the outflow mainly due to the national government’s foreign currency withdrawals from its deposits with the BSP to pay its foreign currency obligations and various expenses,” BSP said in a statement. He said these outflows were partly offset by inflows from BSP foreign exchange operations and income from overseas investments and an upward adjustment in the value of gold holdings due to the increase in the price. gold on the international market. The level of reserves represents a more than adequate cushion of external liquidity equivalent to 12.2 months of imports of goods and payments for services and primary income, the BSP said. May’s figure was also about 7.4 times the country’s short-term external debt on an original maturity basis and 5.1 times on a residual maturity basis. Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to the stock of external debt with an original maturity of less than or equal to one year, plus principal repayments on medium and long-term public and private sector loans from the public and private sectors. expiring within the next 12 months. Data showed that the RIF included $ 92.64 billion in foreign investment, $ 9.9 billion in gold holdings, $ 2.39 billion in foreign exchange, $ 1.23 billion in drawing rights and $ 807.9 million in reserve at the International Monetary Fund. Net international reserves also declined by $ 730 million to $ 106.96 billion in May from April’s level of $ 107.69 billion. GIR reached a record high of $ 110.117 billion in December 2020. BSP expects it to reach $ 114 billion by the end of 2021 and $ 117 billion by the end of 2021. the end of 2022. However, this could be affected by the widening of the balance of payments deficit which reached $ 231 million in the first four months, a reversal of the surplus of $ 1.6 billion recorded. at the same time last year. The balance of payments deficit would have been higher if the government had not received foreign loans this year. In April, the national government issued global bonds worth $ 2.52 billion and ROP Samurai bonds worth $ 498 million for general financing and operational needs. “Based on preliminary data, this cumulative balance of payments deficit was partly due to the country’s merchandise trade deficit and net outflows of foreign portfolio investment,” BSP said. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the trade deficit widened to $ 11 billion in the first four months, from $ 8.6 billion a year ago, as imports rebounded and declined. increased faster than exports. Merchandise exports increased 21.9% in the four-month period to $ 34.46 billion, while exports increased 19% to $ 23.37 billion.
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