S. Korea’s foreign reserves edge down in May

June 4, 2019

South Korea’s foreign reserves slightly fell in May due partly to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, the central bank said Wednesday.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves came to US$401.97 billion as of end-May, down $2.06 billion from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The May drop slightly increased from a $1.22 billion decline in April. Still, the amount held by the country marked the world’s ninth-largest, the bank said.

“The drop is largely attributed to the depreciation of other currencies against the U.S. dollar,” BOK said in a press release.

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.

Foreign securities, including government bonds and corporate debts, came to $375.79 billion at the end of last month, up $1.63 billion from the month before.

Foreign currency-denominated deposits shrank $3.67 billion to $15.71 billion over the cited period.

The country’s reserve position at the IMF came to $2.50 billion, down $10 million.

Its holdings in gold bullion remained unchanged at $4.79 billion.

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