Sunday, March 06, 2011

Central Bank to convert Libyan dinar

Deviating from its usual list of convertible currencies, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will soon allow repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Libya to exchange their Libyan dinars in the Philippines.

In a statement, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said they are just finalizing the working banking arrangements and will be making a formal announcement on how the returning Filipinos can exchange Libyan dinars.

Tetangco is a native of Apalit town and was appointed by former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to be BSP governor in 2005.

The BSP usually allows the conversion of only 16 foreign currencies, including the US dollar, Japanese yen, British pound, Hong Kong dollar, Swiss franc, Canadian dollar, Singapore dollar, Australian dollar, Bahrain dinar, Kuwaiti dinar, Saudi Arabian rial, Brunei dollar, Indonesian rupiah, Thai baht, United Arab Emirates’ dirham, European Monetary Union’s euro, Chinese yuan, and Korean won.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank does not facilitate the conversion of Argentinean peso, Brazilian, Danish kroner, Indian rupee, Malaysian ringgit, Mexican new peso, New Zealand dollar, Norwegian kroner, Pakistani rupee, South African rand, Swedish kroner, Syrian pound, (New) Taiwan dollar, and Venezuelan bolivar.

Diwa Gunigundo, deputy BSP governor, had earlier said the social and political situation in Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen could have a negative impact on OFW remittances as well as exports.

Filipino workers in the Middle East contributed about 16 percent of the total OFW remittances last year. Remittances from the Middle East shot up by 11.2 percent last year, to $2.96 billion from $2.66 billion in 2009.

More than half the remittances from the Middle East in 2010 – or $1.644 billion – came from Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia.

The BSP sees OFW remittances growing by 8 percent a new record breaching the $20 billion level this year as other countries post higher demand for skilled Filipino workers.

Published in the Sun.Star