The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved more amendments to its regulations to further facilitate the access of authorized agent banks to foreign exchange resources and streamline documentary requirements, procedures as well as reporting.

'This is part of the continuing efforts of the BSP to review the forex regulatory framework and support the country's thrust to promote a policy environment conducive to sustained inflow of investments to help foster economic development and growth,' the central bank said.

In a circular signed by BSP Governor Eli Remolona Jr. on April 11, the BSP amended the provisions of the Manual of Regulations on Foreign Exchange Transactions to allow more forms of foreign investments to be registered upon reporting by authorized agent banks (AABs).

The changes also included the issuance of BSP registration documents (BSRDs) for these investments and streamlined the reporting forms and procedures related to these foreign investments.

'A transitory period until Sept. 30 will be provided to allow registering authorized agent banks to make the necessary preparations and adjustments to their systems and processes to ensure compliance with the new reporting guidelines,' the BSP said.

Under the amended guidelines, investments in the following instruments will be registered upon reporting of the registering AAB to the BSP, given that the applicable guidelines on registration and supporting documents are duly complied with.

These investments or instruments include debt securities issued by the government and other public sector entities, equity securities, debt securities issued by the private sector, exchange traded funds as well as Philippine Depository Receipts.

Investments in peso time deposits with an AAB (with a maturity of at least 90 days) and instruments used as collateral involving transfer of legal/beneficial ownership of the collateral to the non-resident investor should be registered to the BSP.

The regulator explained in its circular that a registering AAB is a bank with authority to operate a foreign currency depository unit that has been designated by the foreign investor to report and monitor his investments.

'The registering AAB shall regularly report all transactions, including new/additional investment/s of a non-resident investor, using the prescribed forms within the prescribed deadline,' the BSP said.

The registering AABs should also submit to the BSP-International Operations Department the list of existing and valid BSRDs. The BSRDs issued as of Jan. 31 should be submitted within 15 days from the issuance of the circular, while those issued from Feb. 1 until April 11 should be submitted within two days from the registration date or prior to the effectivity of the circular.

The revised report forms should be submitted starting Oct. 1.

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