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Philippines' external debt declines 2.2 billion USD in Q1

Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 20, 2020
The Philippines' outstanding external debt stood at 81.4 billion U.S. dollars as of end-March 2020, down by 2.2 billion U.S. dollars or 2.6 percent from the 83.6 billion level as of end-December 2019, the central bank of the Philippines said on Friday.
Central bank   Philippines
"The decline in the debt level during the first quarter was due to net repayments of 4.0 billion U.S. dollars largely attributed to the settlement of short-term maturing obligations by the private sector," the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.

Topics: Philippines

"This was offset by the 1.1 billion U.S. dollars increase in non-residents' investments in Philippine debt papers issued offshore, demonstrating investors' confidence in the country's creditworthiness; prior periods' adjustments of 580 million U.S. dollars; and positive foreign exchange revaluation adjustments of 101 million U.S. dollars as the U.S. dollar weakened against the Japanese yen," he added.

Year-on-year, Diokno said the country's debt stock rose by 990 million U.S. dollars.

External debt refers to all types of borrowings by Philippine residents from non-residents, following the residency criterion for international statistics.

Public sector external debt increased to 45.1 billion U.S. dollars from 42.8 billion U.S. dollars in the previous quarter, he added.

Meanwhile, Diokno said private-sector debt decreased from 40.8 billion U.S. dollars as of end-December 2019 to 36.3 billion U.S. dollars as of end-March 2020.

Diokno added that key external debt indicators "remained at prudent levels" and that the country's total outstanding debt-to-GDP ratio "remains one of the lowest as compared to other ASEAN member countries."

The Philippines' Gross International Reserves stood at 88.9 billion U.S. dollars as of end-March 2020 and represented 6.7 times cover for short-term debt under the original maturity concept.