September remittances of UAE Filipinos drop 14.5pc

DUBAI — The remittances of Filipino workers in the UAE dropped 14.5 per cent to Dh173.7 million ($47.34 million) in September from Dh203.3 million ($55.4 million) in August, due to the continuing appreciation of the peso against the dirham.

By Jose Franco

Published: Thu 22 Nov 2007, 9:05 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:21 PM

The September inflows brought to Dh1.6 billion ($427.53 million) the total remittances sent through banks during the first nine months of the year, up 49.6 per cent from Dh1.05 billion ($285.84 million) for the same period last year, the Philippine central bank said. On the second week of this month the Philippine peso has edged out the Indian rupee as Asia's strongest currency, gaining about two per cent and more than 14 per cent since January.

Yesterday the peso was 11.63 to the dirham, based on the peso-dollar ratio of 42.80:1 being used by at least four major Philippine banks having tie-ups with exchange centres in the UAE. On July 24 it surged to 12.10 to the dirham for the first time in seven years.

The dirham is pegged to the dollar at 3.68, prompting Filipinos in the UAE to cough up more dirhams to send home every time that the dollar depreciates.

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia continued to send the highest amount of remittances, which stood at Dh300.32 million ($81.8 million) in September but also dropped from last month's Dh378 million ($103 million). Remittances from January to September rose 14.2 per cent to Dh3.3 billion ($895.7 million) from Dh3 billion ($784.4 million) a year ago.

In Kuwait, OFWs sent home Dh526.1 million ($141.3 million) for the first nine months, up 73 per cent from Dh305 million ($82 million) for the same period in 2006.

Remittances coursed through banks from Filipino workers in host-countries worldwide surged 15 per cent to Dh39 billion ($10.5 billion) in the first nine months, up 15 per cent from Dh34 billion ($9.1 billion) a year ago.

Strong remittances from over 10 million OFWs worldwide and the strong inflows of foreign investments into the Philippines have made the peso breach the crucial 43-level against the US dollar and surge to its highest value in over seven years. The dollar has dropped 16 per cent this year against a basket of major currencies, and 44 per cent against the euro since 2000. The drop in the dollar value has been exacerbated by recent hints from the US Fed of another interest rate cut in December.

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