March GIR Level Reaches $66.2B

The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) surged to $66.2 billion as of end-March 2011, higher by $2.3 billion compared to the end-February 2011 GIR level of $63.9 billion, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Officer-in-Charge Juan de Zuñiga Jr.

The appreciable build-up in the GIR level was due mainly to foreign exchange inflows coming from the proceeds of the National Government’s (NG) global bond issuance on 30 March 2011, foreign exchange operations and income from investments abroad of the BSP, and revaluation gains on the BSP’s gold holdings on account of rising gold prices. These inflows were partially offset, however, by payments for maturing foreign exchange obligations of the NG.

The preliminary end-March 2011 GIR could cover 10.2 months worth of imports of 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 5.9 times based on residual maturity.

Net international reserves (NIR), which include revaluation of reserve assets, reached $66.2 billion as of end-March 2011, up by $2.3 billion compared to the end-February 2011 NIR of $63.9 billion. NIR refers to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities.

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