Final BSP Tally For 2011
By LEE C. CHIPONGIAN
MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday released the final tally for gross international reserves (GIR) for 2011 of $75.3 billion, higher than previous announcement earlier this month of $75.13 billion.
The BSP on schedule reports preliminary GIR data and usually revise same data at the end of every month as additional data are inputted such as foreign exchange balances.
The full-year 2011 projection was $70 billion but because of higher external accounts from capital inflows and stable remittances, GIR exceeded the target once more.
The 2011 final GIR is 20.73 percent higher or $12.93 billion more than end-2010's $62.37 billion. The highest GIR recorded last year was in November when it reached $76.2 billion.
The Philippine foreign exchange reserves have provided an important buffer for the country, especially during the economic and financial crisis. The GIR and the balance of payments surplus of $10.18 billion in 2011 reflected the country’s strong exports, remittances, sovereign bond issuance, and other capital inflows.
Data from the BSP said foreign investments, a major part of GIR, amounted to $65.27 billion as of end-December from 2010’s $53.44 billion. Gold reserves, in the meantime, totaled $8 billion from the previous year’s $7 billion.
The BSP said the current GIR level is adequate enough to cover 11.1 months worth of imports and goods and payments of services and income. It was also equivalent to 10.5 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 6.8 times based on residual maturity.
The bulk of the BSP’s reserves, or more than 87 percent of the total GIR are in foreign investments while almost 10 percent are in gold holdings. Other small reserves are the combined holdings of foreign exchange as well as Special Drawing Rights and the BSP’s reserve position in the IMF.
In terms of currency composition, 74 percent of the total reserves are denominated in US dollars, 16 percent in yen, four percent in euro, and the balance are in SDRs and other currencies.