South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves reached near $403 billion last month on the back of the weakening U.S. dollar, making the national coffer in foreign exchange eighth largest in the world.
According to Bank of Korea on Wednesday, Korea’s FX balance came to $402.99 as of the end of November, up $240 million from the previous month. It hit a record high of $403 billion in September and fell slightly to $402.7 billion in October.
An official from the central bank said the gain in the nation’s FX reserves was driven by the weak dollar that led to an increase in the value of other currencies when converted into the dollar. In November, the U.S. dollar index slipped 0.2 percent from a month earlier to 96.78, meaning the dollar is losing value against other six currencies including the euro, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, British pound, Swedish Krona and Swiss franc.
By asset type, securities including government, public entity and corporate bonds and asset-backed securities grew $470 million on month to $376.2 billion. Cash deposits in foreign bank accounts slipped by $190 million to $16.53 billion. The special drawing rights (SDR) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased $50 million to $3.41 billion. SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF that can be withdrawn by its members in proportion to their quota in the IMF.
The country ranked as the eighth biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves as of the end of October. China topped the list with $3.05 trillion, followed by Japan with $1.25 trillion and Swiss $794.5 billion.
By Lee Yu-sup and Choi Mira
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