FOREIGN CURRENCY and deposits of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) totaled $7.85 billion as of August, the central bank said.
This is more than double (106.5%) the $3.8 billion recorded a year earlier. Foreign currency reserves are convertible assets of the central bank.
The BSP’s reserve assets include foreign investments, gold, foreign exchange, its reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and special drawing rights.
These reserve assets are included in the BSP’s monthly reporting of gross international reserves (GIR). However, the GIR report does not disclose some of the BSP’s reserve assets such as currency and deposits overseas.
The BSP estimates that currency and deposits with financial institutions overseas was $6.5 billion at the end of August, up 166% from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, reserve assets held in other central banks, such as the Bank for International Settlements and the IMF, fell 0.7% to $1.35 billion during the period.
In the first eight months, other reserve assets also slipped 2.4% to $8.08 billion.
These assets include financial derivatives and loans to nonbank nonresidents, among others.
The BSP also estimated that dollar reserves fell 0.4% to $99.56 billion at the end of August from $99.95 billion at the end of July.
This was the lowest dollar reserve level since the $99.39 billion posted in June.
Foreign exchange holdings serve as an indicator of the economy’s ability to pay its debts in the event of an economic downturn.
The BSP is expecting to end the year with $99.5 billion in dollar reserves and $102 billion by the end of 2024. — Keisha B. Ta-asan