Monday, September 07, 2009

Philippine GIR and Banks

“Developing Asia has indeed been accumulating reserves at a relatively fast pace, in fact more than twice as fast as the rest of the world,” ADB said.The multilateral lender noted that the combined reserves of developing countries in Asia climbed to $3.37 trillion as of end-2008 from only $202 billion as of end-1990.

And this includes the Philippines. As of end-July, the country’s foreign exchange reserves continue to register record highs, reaching $40 billion or enough to cover 6.9 months worth of imports, latest BSP data showed.

Now the crisis world over is almost over, so probably the government should start thinking what to do with the huge reserves, slowly, by next year when the economic conditions all over the world is more certain.

On a different issue, which is another good news: Fitch Ratings is maintaining a "stable" outlook on Philippine banks, saying the financial institutions have shown resiliency amid the global economic crisis.

The credit rating agency noted a slight increase in the Philippine banking sector's non-performing loans or the NPL ratio, from 4.5 percent as of end-2008 to 4.6 percent as of end-June. Fitch said, however, that the increase was minimal, adding that any further increase in defaults could be absorbed by banks given their continued profitability.

The Philippines, like neighboring countries, has adopted reforms in the regulation of its banking system following the Asian financial crisis of 1997, which led to rising loan defaults. The Philippine banking sector's NPL ratio peaked at 18 percent in 2001.