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PH dollar reserves hit new record in September, highest in PH history
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PH dollar reserves hit new record in September, highest in PH history

October 9 ------ Foreign currency inflow pushed the Philippines’ dollar reserves higher in September — their highest level in the country’s’ history — which bodes well for the strength of the peso and industries that buy raw and intermediate materials from abroad. Initial data showed the country’s gross international reserves rose by $130 million to $86.16 billion as of end-September 2019 from $86.03 billion at the end of the previous month, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said. He said the increase was due mainly to the government’s foreign currency deposits and income from investments abroad.

Diokno added, though, that the increase in reserves as “partially tempered” by payments for foreign debts. He said the end-September 2019 level of gross international reserves serves as an ample external liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 7.5 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.4 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.9 times based on residual maturity. Net international reserves – which refers to the difference between the BSP’s dollar reserves and total short-term liabilities, likewise increased by $130 million to $86.15 billion as of end-September 2019 from the end-August 2019 level of $86.02 billion. At its lowest level in October last year, the country’s dollar reserves dipped to $74.7 billion, reversing only after the BSP completed its aggressive string of anti-inflation interest rate hikes, thus making peso-denominated assets attractive once more for investors and fund managers.