June payments surplus boost Bangko Sentral confidence over target

The Philippines registered a $692 million balance of payments surplus last June, the widest in five months, prompting the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas chief to say its payments target for the year is simply reachable.

It was the widest payments surplus since the the $2.043 billion recorded in January, central bank data released Friday showed.

The payments position last months bolstered the first-half tally to a $2.577 billion surplus, up 95.82 percent from the $1.316 billion a year earlier.

“The six month cumulative surplus of $2.6 billion keeps us on track to meet the $4.4 billion surplus,” central bank Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. told reporters in a text message Friday.

BOP sums up the transactions of Philippines with rest of the world, with a surplus meaning more money entered the country giving it more funds to settle external obligations.

A BOP surplus beefs up the foreign exchange reserves which serve as a cushion against external shocks.

Gross international reserves (GIR) stood at $81.64 billion as of end-June.

“Expected sustained inflows from remittances, BPO (business process outsourcing) services and investments back up the full-year projection, which should in turn provide fundamental support to the peso,” Tetangco said.

The peso is now trading at the 43 per dollar level, weaker than the 40 to 41 territory earlier this year.

Despite the basic perception that the peso could end up weaker this year than in 2012, analysts maintained that a healthy dollar reserves lends the peso enough support amid market volatility.

Monetary authorities maintained that they are constantly reviewing targets in light of offshore developments.

“We will remain watchful of external developments and will review our projections in the course of time and revise, if needed,” Tetangco noted. — VS, GMA News

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