According to the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$380.57 billion as of the end of last month, showing a month-on-month increase of US$2.11 billion. Its forex reserves increased for the fourth consecutive month and hit an all-time high again in just one month.
Last month, the central bank succeeded in increasing the revenue from its foreign currency-denominated assets while the U.S. dollar depreciated to result in an increase in the value of its foreign currency assets converted to the U.S. dollar and the increase in the reserves. During the same period, the U.S. dollar depreciated unlike the other major currencies including the British pound, euro, and Australian dollar. For instance, the euro and British pound appreciated by 2.4% and 1.6% with respect to the USD, respectively. The USD Index, which shows the value of the USD in comparison to six major currencies, fell 1.3% from 96.9 to 95.6 during the period.
Marketable securities such as government and government agency bonds and asset-backed securities accounted for 92.6% of the total forex reserves, increasing by US$2 billion from a month ago, while deposits in foreign central banks and major global banks fell US$0.1 billion to US$18.76 billion. The SDR edged up by US$2 million to US$3 billion and the IMF position edged down by US$1 million to US$1.75 billion. The gold reserves remained at US$4.79 billion.
As of the end of May this year, South Korea ranked ninth in the world in terms of size of foreign exchange reserves. China (up US$24 billion to US$3.0536 trillion) topped the list, followed by Japan (US$1.2519 trillion), Switzerland (US$764.3 billion), Saudi Arabia (US$500.2 billion), Taiwan (US$440.3 billion), Russia (US$405.7 billion) and Hong Kong (US$402.7 billion). India increased its forex reserves by US$6.8 billion to US$380.1 billion between April and May and moved up two notches to eighth.