PH dollar reserves hit new all-time high in September

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Despite a small increase, dollar reserves held by the country rose to a new all-time high in September. (FILE PHOTO).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 7) — Dollar reserves that the country can use for contingencies hit an all-time high of $86.16 billion in September, which increased slightly from $86.03 billion in August, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Monday.

The BSP said in a statement that the increase in the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) was partially tempered by the government’s payments of foreign debt.

These reserves are used as a measure of economic stability by international debt watchers. The September tally is the biggest since September 2016, when reserves were at $86.14 billion.

Income from the central bank’s foreign investments, which account for the bulk of the standby funds, dropped $82 million to $73.44 billion from $73.52 billion in August.

Reserves in the International Monetary Fund also dropped $1.9 million to $563.3 million from $561.4 million, while special drawing rights — or additional amounts which the BSP can pull out as needed — remained at $1.17 billion.

Meanwhile, foreign exchange holdings grew to $2.98 billion from $2.76 billion.

The country’s gold holdings still stood at $8.02 billion, a level that has remained unchanged since June.

The September GIR can cover up to 7.5 months' worth of the country's import bill, which is well above the three-month global standard. It can also pay over five times the country's short-term foreign debt, the BSP added.

CNN Philippines Multi-platform News Writer Melissa Luz Lopez contributed to this report.