C bank halves reserves required in the Philippines

PHILIPPINES - In a move that could free up funds for lending and ease pressure on banks' earnings, the Philippine Central Bank decided to halve the general reserves it requires banks to set aside to cover possible loan losses.

Alberto Reyes, a deputy central bank governor, said the Monetary Board approved last week the reduction of the general loan-loss provision to 1% from 2% of total loans, but imposed a 5% reserve for possible losses on restructured loans.

He said the twin moves will align