P/$ Rate Closes at P41.68/$ 1
The peso exchange rate closed slightly higher at P41.68 to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from P41.69 last Wednesday. The weighted average rate depreciated to P41.641 from P41.58. Total volume amounted to $ 297.5 million.
BTr scraps 91-, 182-day sales
The government won't offer three- and six-month treasury bills in the second quarter, the schedule of auctions for the April-June period issued yesterday by the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) showed. In a notice to banks, Finance Undersecretary and acting National Treasurer Roberto Tan said the government will, instead, offer P6 billion worth 364-day treasury bills during each of the seven fortnightly auctions scheduled during the period. In the first quarter, the government had offered P6.5 billion worth of treasury bills at each auction. Those bills were distributed in three maturities. The Treasury statement also said that six auctions are scheduled in the second quarter, with R7 billion to be offered in each auction. The maturities will range from 3 years to 20 years. The amount of treasury bond offered in each auction in the first quarter was P7.5 billion. The BTr has repeatedly rejected all bids for 91- and 182-day securities since January because of the high yields sought by banks.
Amex sees peso rate at P41.50
The American Express Bank Ltd. said the peso will likely remain within the P41.50-level in the next three months with slowing economy and lower interest rates. In a March-April commentary, Amex said the peso has recently "fallen back on higher risk aversion and the prospect of some, albeit modest, fiscal slippage after recent good budget trends." "We expect the peso to stay weaker as the Philippine economy slows down and local interest rates fall further," Amex's Global Economics Unit said. "So far the economy remains resilient to the US recession." The bank forecasts gross domestic product growth of between 6-6.5 percent for 2008. So far, merchandise exports have grown to about 40 percent of GDP while dollar inflows remains strong, for example remittances from overseas Filipinos, which is 10 percent of GDP.As for the country's inflation rate, Amex said February's 5.4 percent is "too high" against the full year target of 3-5 percent. The bank expects the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will reduce key rates soon. "We (still) expect rates to drop 125 basis points from five percent by end 2008 with the first cuts coming in the second quarter. …