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Peso 2nd top perfomer in Southeast Asia-D.O.F.

THE Department of Finance (DOF) said the Philippine peso, which appreciated by 2.82 percent in the January-to-July period, ranked second among Southeast Asian currencies.

In its economic bulletin, the DOF said the Philippine peso performed well and gained strength against the greenback compared to other currencies in Southeast Asia.

'Year-to-date, the peso appreciated by 2.82 percent, ranking next to Thailand, which appreciated by 4.27 percent,' the DOF said.

The Philippine peso started the year at 52.52 to the greenback, then gained strength toward July, when it settled at an average of 51.01 to the United States dollar.

'The peso-dollar exchange rate also remains stable throughout the period, its coefficient of variation at 0.82 percent, ranking sixth among 12 regional currencies and lower than the 0.93-percent Asian average,' the DOF said.

During the seven-month period, the DOF noted that the Indonesian rupiah appreciated by 2.69 percent; Indian rupee, 1.06 percent; Japanese yen, 0.93 percent; Malaysian ringgit, 0.34 percent; and the Hong Kong dollar, 0.21 percent.

Currencies that depreciated include the South Korean won (6.65 percent), New Taiwan dollar (1.75 percent), Singapore dollar (0.42 percent), Vietnamese dong (0.16 percent), and Chinese renminbi (0.02 percent).

The increasing strength of the peso was attributed to the country's strong balance-of-payments (BOP) position and rising gross international reserves (GIR).

'Strong foreign exchange inflows from exports of services, remittances, income from investments abroad, direct foreign investments and foreign borrowing all contributed to the strong BOP position. These in turn boosted the confidence in the Philippine peso,' the DOF said.

The BOP surplus reached $4.79 billion, or 3 percent of GDP, as of end-June, the highest since 2012. This is a reversal from the $3.26-billion deficit recorded during the same period in 2018.

The GIR also rose to $85.77 billion as of end-June, 10.4 percent higher than last year's level and is equivalent to 7.5 months of imports of goods and services. It was also 5.1 times the country's short-term external debt.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Aug 6, 2019
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