MANILA, Philippines - The country's outstanding foreign debt fell 1.1% to $53.3 billion at end-December 2009 from a year earlier, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
This was equivalent to 33.1% of gross domestic product, up 0.8 percentage point from the previous year, largely as a result of exchange rate movements.
The BSP said the amount of the debt stock declined as inflows of borrowings by state-owned companies were negated by debt repayments of banks, including the BSP.
On a quarterly basis, however, the Philippines' foreign debt increased by 0.2% from the $53.1 billion at end-September 2009.
Of total foreign debt, 92.5% was in medium-term to long-term tenors, with a weighted average maturity of 20.2 years. The remainder was short-term debt, made up largely of interbank borrowings and trade-related obligations.
Total public sector external debt rose by $1.5 billion to $41.8 billion, primarily due to new borrowings obtained to finance development projects and other requirements of government.
On the other hand, private sector external debt declined to $11.4 billion from $13.5 billion as repayments by both bank and non-bank borrowers exceeded loan availments.