BOP surplus rises 53% in January-June


Posted at Jul 19 2011 05:04 PM | Updated as of Jul 20 2011 01:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The country's balance of payments (BOP) surplus rose nearly 53% in the first half of the year, supported by portfolio investments, exports and remittances.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that the BOP surplus reached $5.016 billion in January to June, higher than the $3.284 billion recorded in the same period last year.

In June alone, the surplus was $222 million, nearly flat from May's $217 million.

The BOP is the difference of foreign exchange inflows and outflows, and represents the country’s transactions with the rest of the world.

Last month, the central bank said strong inflows fueled by the country's economic strength have increased liquidity pressures, prompting it to raise banks' reserve requirements.

The BSP has forecast foreign exchange reserves to rise to $70 billion this year, and $75 billion in 2012.

Net portfolio investments in the first six months hit $2.36 billion, a two-fold rise from $686.6 million a year ago.

Exports are estimated to climb between 9% and 10% this year, while remittances are seen growing 7%.