The Korea Herald


S. Korea's foreign reserves rebound in Dec.

By 양승진

Published : Jan. 4, 2011 - 09:33

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South Korea's foreign exchange reserves rebounded in December from the previous month as a weaker U.S. dollar boosted the conversion value of assets in other currencies, the central bank said Tuesday.

   The country's foreign reserves reached US$291.57 billion as of the end of December, up $1.34 billion from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

   The foreign reserves expanded by a total of $21.58 billion last year as dollar inflows increased amid robust exports and foreigners' sustained buying of Korean assets. The reserves hit a record high of $293.35 billion in October.

   Foreign reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, along with International Monetary Fund

(IMF) reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.

   "Amid a rise in investment profit, the reserves rose as gains in the euro and the yen raised their dollar conversion value," said Moon Han-geun, an economist at the BOK.

   In December, the yen rose 3 percent to the dollar and the euro gained 3 percent per the greenback as improving U.S. economic data undercut investors' appetite for safe assets.

   As of the end of November, South Korea was the world's sixth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves after China, Japan, Russia, Taiwan and India.

(Yonhap News)