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PIA Press Release

BOP position yields $3.2-B surplus in S1

Manila (21 September) -- The balance of payments (BOP) in the second quarter of 2007 reversed to a surplus of $ 1.8 billion from a deficit of $ 81 million last year, bringing the first-semester BOP to a surplus of $ 3.2 billion, up by a whopping 56.8 percent as against the $ 2 billion a year ago.

The first-half figure brought the gross international reserves (GIR) to $ 26.4 billion as of end-June 2007, which is equivalent to 4.8 months' worth of imports of goods and payment of services and income.

In a press briefing, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo attributed the surplus in BOP position mainly to increased remittances of overseas Filipinos, exports and tourism dollar revenues coming into the economy.

Guinigundo said this signifies that the Philippine economic fundamentals have remained strong, with the peso averaging 46.93 against the US dollar in the second quarter compared to 52.21 during the same period last year.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the strong performance in the BOP in the second quarter was spurred by the continued strength in the current account and the rebound in the capital and financial account.

Tetangco said the current account (CA) surplus of $ 1.8 billion improved by 18.9 percent compared to the level posted in the same period last year due to increased remittances from overseas Filipinos as well as net inflows in the income account.

"The CA surplus was equivalent to 5.2 percent of GDP, the highest ratio recorded since 2005," he noted.

Tetangco reported that the 8.5-percent rise in remittances from non-resident overseas Filipinos to $ 3.3 billion buoyed net current transfers during the period, making up for the deficit in the trade-in goods account which was slightly higher at $ 1.9 billion.

"This favorable outcome can be attributed to greater access to financial services and efficient delivery of remittances as local money transfer agents such as banks expanded the number of their remittance centers and tie-ups abroad to reach more Filipino remitters overseas and their families," he said.

Likewise, the capital and financial account (CFA) balance reversed to a surplus of $ 77 million during the second quarter from a deficit of $ 1.7 billion a year ago on account of the robust growth of both the portfolio and other investment accounts.

Tetangco said a surplus in CFA was incurred even as the direct investment account recorded a net outflow following the acquisition by a resident company of shares of a foreign power company abroad.

Overall BOP position is determined by deducting change in reserve liabilities from change in reserve assets. (PIA) [top]

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