PESO BACK AT 53 TO $1 U.S.

Makati City, May 29, 2003 -- The peso fell back yesterday to the 53 to $1 
level, weighed down by banks covering short positions as interest rates on 
peso securities soften, tapering dollar inflows.

At the Philippine Dealing System (PDS), the peso closed at 53.10, down 22 
centavos from Tuesday's close of 52.880 to the dollar.

The local currency hit a high of 52.970 and a low of 53.100 before settling 
at an average of 53.028 vis-a-vis the dollar. Total transactions amounted 
to only $95.60 million from Tuesday's $136 million as trading was shortened 
by an hour due to inclement weather.

BSP Deputy Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the weakening was aggravated 
by the usual month-end demand for dollars by big corporations.

Tetangco explained that at the end of the month, companies normally beef up 
their dollar reserves to pay for regular importations.

"It's not unusual to see the peso weakening on the last few days of the 
month," he pointed out.

The BSP said it made no moves to intervene in the market but it would 
maintain its policy of providing sufficient liquidity.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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