FX reserves hit new record high in December

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FX reserves hit new record high in December


A KEB Hana Bank employee in charge of finding counterfeit bills holds up U.S. dollars at the bank’s headquarters in downtown Seoul on Thursday. [YONHAP]

Korea’s foreign exchange reserves hit a new record high again last month on the back of the recent weakness of the U.S. dollar, central bank data showed Thursday.

The total value of the country’s foreign exchange reserves reached $389.27 billion as of the end of December, up $2.02 billion from the previous month, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a statement.

The December figure exceeds the earlier record of $387.25 billion set in November.

The BOK said that the recent depreciation of the U.S. dollar increased the value of non-dollar currencies when converted into the greenback.

Foreign exchange reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, as well as International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.

The country’s reserve position at the IMF stood at $1.62 billion at the end of December, edging down from $1.63 billion a month earlier.

Holdings in gold bullion remained unchanged at $4.79 billion during the same period, the statement said.

The BOK, meanwhile, said that as of the end of November, Korea was the world’s ninth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves behind China, Japan, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Russia, Hong Kong and India.

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