Korea’s foreign reserves up $6.8 billion, rising for a third month [Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]
Korea’s foreign reserves in January reached $429.9 billion, a $6.8 billion increase from a month ago, according to the Bank of Korea on Friday. The increase is understood to be attributed to the recent weak U.S. dollar.
The national foreign reserves have now seen an uptrend for three months in a row, since November, when it broke a downward streak that had been ongoing for three consecutive months since August.
“Assets in other foreign currencies rose when converted to U.S. dollars, and foreign currency deposits at financial institutions grew as well,” the central bank said.
Assets in foreign currencies have increased recently, as the U.S. dollar weakened by about 1.5 percent last month against the Korean won.
By asset type, securities topped $371.4 billion, growing $1.7 from a month earlier.
Other categories also saw increases. Deposits increased by $4.8 billion to $34.1 billion, special drawing rights rose by $0.21 billion to $15 billion and IMF positions had a $0.05 billion increase to $4.5 billion.
Gold holdings remained unchanged at $4.79 billion, as they don’t reflect the price fluctuations.
As of the end of December, Korea was the ninth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves in the world, with $423.2 billion.
China had the largest reserves, holding $3.12 trillion, followed by Japan at $1.22 trillion, Switzerland at $924 billion, Russia at $582 billion, India at $562.7 billion, Taiwan at $554.9 billion, Saudi Arabia at $458.7 billion and Hong Kong at $424 billion.
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