MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) took a hit from the strengthening of the peso as it incurred foreign exchange losses of P9.67 billion last year, its unaudited financial statement showed.
This was a reversal of the P53-million foreign exchange gain the central bank booked in 2008.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. noted the losses would have been bigger if the central bank did not intervene in the foreign exchange market to temper the peso's appreciation against the US dollar.
He said last year's forex losses were bearable compared to the P113.71-billion forex losses in 2007, when the peso moved up sharply to close at 41.74:$1 at the end of that year.
Moreover, despite the forex losses, the BSP managed to post a net income of P13 billion, thanks to gains from investments abroad.
The peso ended at 48.09 to the dollar in 2008, but appreciated to 46.42 last year.
Since the peso continues to appreciate this year, the BSP is expected to post bigger forex losses. The peso now hovers in the 43-to-the-dollar level and is predicted to reach as high as 42 or 41 by the end of 2010.