The Bank of Korea announced on Feb. 5 that South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$409.65 billion as of the end of last month, showing a month-on-month increase of US$840 million and reaching an all-time high again.
“The foreign currency asset management income increased to swell the reserves although the U.S. dollar-converted values of euro- and yen-denominated assets fell due to a strong U.S. dollar,” the central bank explained, adding, “The record high foreign exchange reserves are expected to contribute to the stability of the South Korean economy with global economic uncertainties rising due to the Wuhan coronavirus, Brexit, etc.”
Marketable securities such as government and government agency bonds and asset-backed securities decreased US$6.58 billion year on year to US$378.45 billion whereas deposits in foreign central banks and major global banks increased US$7.44 billion to US$20.29 billion. The IMF SDR edged down by US$20 million to US$3.34 billion and the IMF position also edged down by US$10 million to US$2.78 billion. The gold reserves remained at US$4.79 billion.
As of the end of last year, South Korea ranked ninth in the world in terms of the size of foreign exchange reserves. China topped the list with US$3,107.9 billion, followed by Japan (US$1,323.8 billion) and Switzerland (US$854.8 billion).