The Philippines expects more money inflows after the Fed promised near zero rates up to 2013, potentially muddling monetary policy looking to bolster local demand, the central bank said on Wednesday. Policymakers would also continue a review of current rules to dampen volatilities in the foreign exchange market, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco said.
“Even as the surge in flows could continue to complicate monetary policy, the specific timeframe provided by the Fed gives us monetary policy space,” Tetangco said in a mobile text message to reporters.“What we need to work double time on is strengthening domestic demand to make up for potentially slower trade, given the more negative growth outlook in the US and Europe.”
“On the part of the BSP, we will continue to monitor developments to ensure such improvement in aggregate demand occurs in a non-inflationary environment,” he said.
The Philippines’ annual inflation rate steadied in July, coming in lower than market forecasts and supporting the case for the central bank to keep rates on hold in the near term in light of market volatility with growing fears of a global recession.
More capital flows were likely to flood emerging market economies given low Fed rates and if US and European policymakers fail to resolve their fiscal and external debt issues, Tetangco said.The Fed said on Tuesday US growth was proving weaker than expected, adding it would consider further steps to support growth. “The BSP is in dialogue with market players to ensure market conduct is orderly,” he said in an email to Reuters. “BSP will also continue to review our prudential regulations to ensure that volatilities in the FX rate are reduced.”
The peso fell from three-year highs hit last week, but was not as severely battered as other regional currencies after the US credit rating downgrade late on Friday.
On on Wednesday, the local currency was quoted at 42.47 per dollar, firmer than its close at 42.52 on Tuesday. It is still up about 1.3 per cent this month despite this week’s losses.
Policymakers are currently reviewing the volume and structure of non-deliverable forwards to ensure there was no speculative activity in that market. The central bank has said it was pursuing a policy of diversifying its reserves, but that the move had to consider the foreign exchange needs of the country’s trade.The Philippines’ foreign reserves are comprised of US dollars, Australian dollars, euro, yen, with about 14 per cent of total reserves in gold holdings, Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo has said.“Inasmuch as a large part of our external debt and trade transactions are denominated in US dollars, a proportional amount of the reserves would have to be held in US dollars also,” Tetangco said.“The rest of our reserves are in currencies of our major non-dollar debt obligations and are invested in the government bond markets of these currencies,” he said.
The Philippine peso fell to the lowest level in almost three weeks as debt woes in the US and Europe reduced the appeal of holding emerging-market assets.
From / Gulf Today