According to the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$383.76 billion as of the end of last month, showing a month-on-month increase of US$3.19 billion. Its forex reserves increased for the fifth consecutive month and hit an all-time high again in just one month. The amount increased by US$12.65 billion for the first seven months of this year.
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, British pound, and Australian dollar appreciated by 2.7%, 1.0%, and 3.9% with respect to the USD, respectively. The euro, in particular, appreciated by 12% for the first seven months of this year and reached a 30-month high of US$1.1832 per euro on July 31.
The USD Index, which shows the value of the USD in comparison to six major currencies, fell 2.9% from 95.6 to 92.9 during the period. The index fell for the fifth consecutive month.
Marketable securities such as government and government agency bonds and asset-backed securities accounted for 92.4% of the total forex reserves, increasing by US$2.29 billion from a month ago, while deposits in foreign central banks and major global banks fell US$620 million to US$19.38 billion.
The SDR edged up by US$290 million to US$3.29 billion and the IMF position edged down by US$20 million to US$1.73 billion. The gold reserves remained at US$4.79 billion.
As of the end of June this year, South Korea ranked ninth in the world in terms of size of foreign exchange reserves. China (up US$3.2 billion to US$3.0568 trillion) topped the list, followed by Japan (US$1.2498 trillion), Switzerland (US$772.4 billion), Saudi Arabia (US$500.7 billion), Taiwan (US$441.9 billion), Russia (US$412.2 billion), Hong Kong (US$408 billion), and India (US$386.5 billion).