GIR back on track, hits 3-year high in February

GIR back on track, hits 3-year high in February

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) claims a $410-million growth in the Philippines’s Gross International Reserves (GIR) as of February this year from the previous month, reported Thursday.

This interpreted to a GIR level of $82.9 billion in February this year, up from the $82.5-billion level of dollar reserves in the previous month. It is also $2.5 billion higher than the $80.4-billion level seen in the same month last year.

Central Bank took lead of clearer economic conditions and the stronger value of the peso against the US dollar build up on a three-year high in February.

February GIR level is the peak level of dollar reserves since October 2016 when it hit $85.1 billion. Also, the fourth successive month the GIR improved from its previous month’s reading.

GIR hit its bottommost level in 2018 at $74.7 billion last October. The peso traded at 54.009 to a dollar on average that same month, around P2 weaker likened to the 52.19 to a dollar traded average in February this year.

With improved sentiment as inflation at nominal levels by February at 3.8 percent and the peso has started to strengthen to the 51st territory by end of the month, the BSP’s foreign exchange operations generated more to contribute to the overall country’s dollar stock.

The BSP added that the end-February GIR level aids as an “ample external liquidity buffer” and is comparable to 7.3 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.

Also comparable to 6.3 times the country’s short-term marginal debt based on original maturity and 4.1 times based on residual maturity.

Economists formerly speculated that fits of declines in the country’s reserves in 2018, the BSP is likely searching to restructure its GIR in 2019 ahead of possible international economic headwinds.

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