MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday reported the country’s highest foreign currency reserves amounting to USD88.995 billion as of March 2020.
Data released by the central bank showed that the latest gross international reserves (GIR) figure is only preliminary, but this is already higher than the USD88.187 billion as of last February.
In a statement, BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics (DES) said the final end of March GIR will be published as soon as the data becomes available.
“In terms of the final data on GIR, the highest level recorded was as of end-February at USD88.2 billion,” it said.
GIR refers to all foreign assets that are available and controlled by the central bank to finance payment imbalances or manage the magnitude of such imbalances.
The BSP’s GIR target this year is USD86 billion.
The BSP said the latest foreign reserves level of the country is enough to cover 7.9 months’ worth of imports of goods and services and payments of primary income, higher than the international standard of three months’ worth of cover.
It traced the rise in the GIR level to gains from the central bank’s foreign exchange operations and income from investments overseas, and the national government’s foreign currency deposits with the central bank.
It, however, said these inflows are partly countered by the national government payments of its foreign currency-denominated loans.
During the same month, the country’s net international reserves (NIR), which is the difference between the GIR and total short-term liabilities, increased to USD88.99 billion in March from the previous month’s USD88.18 billion. (ia/PNA)