PH's outstanding external debt falls in Q1

Posted at 06/20/2014 5:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' outstanding foreign debt continued to drop in the first quarter of the year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.

The BSP said outstanding external debt reached $58.3 billion as of end-March. This was less than the $59 billion recorded in the same period last year, and 0.3 percent lower than the $58.5 billion recorded at the end of 2013.

External debt refers to all types of borrowings by Philippine residents from non-residents that are approved/ registered by the BSP.

The BSP attributed the decline to the increase in non-resident investments in Philippine debt papers issued abroad, foreign exchange revaluation adjustments as the US dollar weakened particularly against the Japanese yen, and adjustment to previous periods’ transactions.

"Key external debt indicators remained at prudent levels in the first quarter of the year,” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. said.

The external debt ratio improved to 17.9 percent in the first quarter, when measured against the gross national income. It stood at 21.5 percent when measured against gross domestic product. The external debt ratio is the capacity to repay obligations over the long-term.