As of the end of last month, the country's foreign exchange reserves came to US$372.48 billion (430.4 trillion won), up US$2.64 billion (3.05 trillion won) from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK) on May 4. April marked the second consecutive month the country posted on-month growth in its foreign exchange reserves.
An official from the BOK said, “The rise was largely due to an increase in operating profits on foreign exchange holdings, along with an increase in the U.S. dollar value of non-dollar assets, including the strong British pound and the Japanese yen.”
Foreign exchange reserves held in marketable securities, such as government bonds, federal agency securities, corporate bonds and asset backed securities like MBS, came to US$341.26 billion (394.33 trillion won), or 91.6 percent of the total. Also, the figures held in deposits stood at US$22.19 billon (25.64 trillion won), or 6 percent, International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing rights (SDR) at US$2.41 billion (2.78 trillion won), or 0.6 percent, IMF position at US$1.83 billion (2.11 trillion won), or 0.5 percent, and gold bullion at US$4.79 billion (5.53 trillion won), or 1.3 percent.
The country’s marketable securities went up US$740 million (855.07 billion won) from the previous month, with deposits jumping US$1.89 billion (2.18 trillion won) over the cited period. Its SDR also gained US$30 million (34.67 billion won), while IMF position decreased US$10 million (11.56 billion won). Holdings in gold bullion remained unchanged.
As of March, Korea was the world's seventh-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves at US$369.8 billion (427.3 trillion won). China ranked top at US$3.21 trillion (3712.16 trillion won), following Japan at US$1.26 trillion (1458.36 trillion won), Switzerland at US$649.2 billion (750.15 trillion won), Saudi Arabia at US$587.1 billion (678.39 trillion won), Taiwan at US$431.6 billion (498.71 trillion won), Russia at US$38.7 million (44.72 billion won), Korea at US$369.8 billion (427.3 trillion won), Hong Kong at US$362 billion (418.29 trillion won), India at US$360.2 billion (416.21 trillion won) and Brazil at US$357.7 billion (413.32 trillion won).