THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) remained in the black at end-July but saw its net income slip from a year ago as miscellaneous revenues plummeted, latest data showed.

The central bank made P8.5 billion for the first seven months of the year, lower than the P10.95 billion it reported during the comparable period in 2016 but adding to the P3.36- billion profit posted as of April.

Gross revenues dropped by 15.7% for the first seven months of the year to P37.96 billion against P45.02 billion which the central bank booked during the same period in 2016.

Interest income jumped by a fifth to P32.39 billion. However, this was cancelled by a 69% slide in miscellaneous collections which settled at just P5.57 billion, coming from P17.96 billion the previous year.

On the other hand, the BSP saw expenses remain steady at P40.61 billion, just slightly higher than the P40.57 billion recorded as of July 2016. Still, this outweighed the revenues collected by the regulator.

However, a surge in gains from currency trading kept the central bank in profit. Total profits from foreign currency fluctuations reached P11.19 billion, nearly double the P6.5 billion income generated a year ago.

As the country’s sole monetary authority, the BSP sometimes steps in during the daily currency trading to temper any sharp movements that may cause a sudden appreciation or depreciation of the peso.

The peso has depreciated versus the dollar so far this year, and is now trading at the P51 level amid negative market sentiment despite the strong fundamentals of the Philippine economy.

The local currency averaged at P50.1324-per-dollar for the first eight months of the year according to central bank data, slightly higher than the P48-50 range assumed by the country’s economic managers back in May.

Central bank officials have previously said that a weaker peso spelled gains for the central bank while a stronger peso meant trading losses, as the BSP held a lot of its investments in dollars.

The BSP has revived its proposal to put up its own reserves to cushion foreign currency fluctuations under its proposal to update Republic Act 7653 or the New Central Bank Act, which is currently pending in Congress.

With the end-July performance, the central bank remains on track to ending the year in profit, which if realized would sustain the recovery to a P17.81-billion bottom line in 2016. Last year’s performance ended five straight years of net losses for the BSP. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez