April forex reserves slip as gold prices drop

Posted at 05/07/2013 4:02 PM

MANILA,Philippines - Gross international reserves slipped to $83.38 billion in April, from $83.95 billion in March, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The forex reserves can cover 11.8 months worth of imports.

The decline in the reserves level was mainly due to the revaluation of the central bank's gold holdings following the drop in gold prices, payments by the national government of its maturing obligations, and withdrawals by state power agency PSALM, the BSP said in a statement. 

The central bank expects the country's reserves to climb to $86 billion at the end of 2013, up 2.6 percent from the year-end 2012 level.

The country gets an average of more than $1.7 billion in remittances from overseas Filipinos each month, helping to support the peso, balance of payments and foreign reserves.   

The peso has reversed course in recent days to climb 0.4 percent so far this year after Standard & Poor's delivered the country's second investment grade upgrade in five weeks. The local currency surged nearly 7 percent in 2012, driven by strong inflows and remittances from Filipinos working and living overseas. 

The Philippines has no plans to impose controls on portfolio inflows at the moment, central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said on Thursday, with the country likely to attract more foreign money after investment grade upgrades from Fitch and S&P.