S. Korea’s foreign reserves keep record-breaking trend in JanuarySouce:Xinhua Publish By Jane B. Hatcher Updated 05/02/2013 7:02 pm in Business / no comments
SEOUL, Feb. 5 — South Korea’s foreign currency reserves maintained record-breaking trend in January thanks to a rise in investment returns and conversion value of euro assets, central bank data showed Tuesday.
Foreign reserves were 328.91 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of January, up from the prior record high of 326.97 billion dollars in December, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The reserves topped the previous high for six straight months, and stayed above the 300-billion-dollar mark since April 2011 when it breached the level for the first time in the country’s history.
The 300-billion-dollar mark has been viewed as the psychologically important level to protect the local financial market from potential foreign capital exodus from the country that may come from possible financial shocks.
The record-breaking reserves came as investment returns and conversion value of euro assets increased. The European single currency appreciated 2.6 percent against the dollar last month in contrast to the Japanese yen falling 5.8 percent versus the greenback.
The foreign reserves consisted of 296.07 billion dollars of securities, 22.8 billion dollars of deposits, 3.51 billion dollars of special drawing rights (SDR), 2.77 billion dollars of International Monetary Fund (IMF) positions and 3.76 billion dollars of gold bullion.
As of the end of December, South Korea was the world’s seventh- largest holder of foreign reserves following China, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, China’s Taiwan and Brazil.