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Philippine Dollar reserves climb to $83.96 billion in April 2019

Dollar reserves climb to $83.96 billion in April
By Melissa Luz Lopez, CNN Philippines
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 7) — Dollar reserves maintained by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) rose in April, providing a bigger cover for foreign debt and import payments.

In a statement, the central bank said the country's gross international reserves (GIR) totalled $83.956 billion, rising from $83.613 billion in March and the $79.609 billion tallied a year ago.

This marked the sixth straight month of an increase in the reserve level, and is the highest since October 2016.

These reserves are used as a measure of an economy's health, and serves as a buffer to cover for the country' short-term liabilities.

The BSP said the GIR is enough to cover 7.4 months' worth of the country's import bill, or five times the outstanding short-term external debt.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the sustained increase is driven by inflows from the central bank's foreign exchange operations and higher net foreign currency deposits.

Income from offshore investments made up the bulk of the reserves at $71.936 billion, picking up from $71.409 billion in March.

Meanwhile, gold holdings slipped to $8.124 billion in April from $8.214 billion a month prior, mirroring lower gold valuations in the international market.

Foreign currencies held by the BSP also slid to $2.189 billion from $2.283 billion.

The central bank uses the GIR to temper sharp fluctuations in the peso-dollar exchange rate. The local currency returned briefly to the ₱51 level against the greenback mid-April before returning to above ₱52.

On Tuesday, the peso closed at ₱51.865 per dollar.

Other components of the GIR are the Philippines' reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth $524.3 million, and special drawing rights under the IMF at $1.183 billion.

The BSP expects reserves to be at least $77 billion this year, coming from 2018's $79.193 billion.

Philippine Dollar reserves climb to $83.96 billion in April 2019 Philippine Dollar reserves climb to $83.96 billion in April 2019 Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 11:59:00 PM Rating: 5

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