The Bank of Korea announced on March 4 that Korea’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$365.76 billion in February, US$1.54 billion less than a month ago, to continue to decline for the fourth consecutive month. Specifically, the reserves reached US$369.6 billion in October last year and then fell to US$368.46 billion in November, US$367.96 billion in December and US$367.29 billion in January.
“The amount converted to the U.S. dollar decreased as other currencies such as the euro and the pound depreciated,” the central bank explained. Last month, the euro and the pound lost 0.3% and 3.5% of their values with respect to the U.S. dollar, respectively.
By asset type, the reserves of the marketable securities including government bonds, government agency bonds, corporate bonds and asset-backed securities increased by US$100 million to US$336.5 billion last month. The IMF position increased by US$460 million to US$1.87 billion whereas the foreign currency deposit decreased by US$1.22 billion to US$20.25 billion. The IMF SDR fell US$880 million to US$2.35 billion and the gold reserves remained at US$4.79 billion.
As of the end of January this year, Korea ranked seventh in the world in terms of the amount of foreign exchange reserves. China topped the list with US$3.2309 trillion in spite of a decrease of US$99.5 billion from a month ago