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Philippines spent $8 billion in reserves this year, Exante says

PIXABAY

The Philippine central bank deployed $8 billion of its foreign-exchange reserves to defend the peso this year, according to Exante Data Inc.

The amount is equivalent to 7.3% of its stockpile at the end of last year, the largest in terms of that ratio in Asia after South Korea, said Shekhar Hari Kumar, a London-based macro strategist for Exante Data, which specializes in tracking global capital outflows.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas sold $2 billion of reserves in September, the largest since February 2021, he said in an interview, citing the company’s estimates.

Foreign reserves in Asia declined this year as currencies weakened.

Central banks from Japan to Chile are forking out billions of dollars in reserves as the greenback’s strength pummels its global peers. In the Philippines, authorities are under pressure to step up intervention as the peso hurtles toward the 60 per dollar level that the government has warned is a no-go area.

“Despite fairly heavy selling, Philippines reserve adequacy is less problematic compared to many other emerging markets,” Kumar said.

While Bangko Sentral has said it has intervened this year to prop up the currency, it does not disclose the amount it has spent. Emerging Asian nations excluding China spent nearly $30 billion in dollar sales in the spot market in September, according to Exante. — Bloomberg

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