Wednesday, 05 January 2011 13:56
Prepayment of the Philippines public and private sector jumped more than thrice in end-October 2010 to US$ 3.6 billion over year-ago’s US$ 975 million.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed that bulk of the total prepayment at the end of the 10th month last year was made by the public sector at US$ 2.34 billion.
The public sector did not prepay any of its foreign-denominated obligations during the same period in 2009.
On the other hand, the private sector paid a total of US$ 1.22 billion in end-October 2010, higher than the US$ 975 million it made during the same period in 2009.
The public and the private sector’s large prepayment in the first 10 months of 2010 was prompted by the strengthening of the local unit against the US dollar.
At the end of 2010, the local unit appreciated by 5.4 percent after it closed to 43.84 against the dollar on December 2010.
This is stronger than the 46.29 at the close of the trading at the Philippine Dealing System on Dec. 29, 2009.
The central bank urges both the public and the private sector to pay in advance their foreign loans to take advantage of the strong peso that came along with the low interest rate regime.
In 2007, the local currency appreciated nearly 19 percent against the dollar on account of the improvement in the domestic economy's fundamentals.
Thus, monetary officials earlier urged both the public and the private sectors to maximize this strength of the peso.
Other factors for the strength of the local unit is the strong inflows of remittances as well as investments, with the latter traced to the attractiveness of emerging markets to investors because of the weak recovery in major economies.
The central bank expects remittances to expand by eight percent year-on-year in 2010 against the previous year’s US$ 17.3 billion.
In October 2010, money sent home by overseas Filipinos registered its new record-high level of US$ 1.7 billion, an expansion of 9.3 percent against year-ago’s US$ 1.57 billion.
This brought to nearly US$ 15.5 billion the inflows in the first 10 months this year, 7.9 percent higher than year-ago’s US$ 14.2 billion.(PNA/PIA9-BST)
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