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PIA Press Release
2007/10/12

OFW remittances back peso strength

Manila (12 October) -- Strong inflows of portfolio investments and remittances from Filipinos working overseas continue to support the peso's climb to a seven-year high of P44.15 to the dollar. The peso, which is now considered one of the best-performing Southeast Asian currencies, had risen by about 11 percent this year.

The peso is expected to continue getting stronger until the end of the year due to increasing remittances by overseas-based Filipinos for Christmas holiday spending and capital inflows.

Due to the appreciation of the peso against the US dollar, the government's outstanding debt decreased by 0.5 percent in July from June. Domestic debt fell by 0.2 percent in July from June and the value of foreign debt decreased by 0.8 percent which took out the equivalent of P30 billion from the government's debt.

The improving business sentiment due to the impressive performance of the economy and the improvement in its economic policies has encouraged an increasing inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI).

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that foreign direct investments from January to July this year was $1.6 billion and this is higher by 70 percent from the same period last year. For the month of July alone, the country generated $419 million in net FDIs which is a turnaround from the $79 million in net outflow seen in the same month last year.

Unlike portfolio investments which are more volatile, FDI flows represent investments in businesses that are capital- and usually labor-intensive for these are channeled mostly to manufacturing, services, construction, mining, real estate, financial intermediation and agricultural industries.

PEZA and the Board of Investments (BoI), the country's two top investment promotion agencies, reported a 26% year on year surge in investment commitments to P158 billion from January to August due to continued strong investor confidence. BoI-registered projects committed investments worth P69 billion, while PEZA investments reached P89 billion The two agencies had approved close to 500 projects, which have committed to create 93,164 new jobs. (PIA) [top]

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