The Korea Herald


S. Korea's foreign reserves hit fresh high in Feb.

By 김주연

Published : March 3, 2011 - 09:56

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South Korea's foreign exchange reserves climbed to a new high in February as a weaker U.S. dollar boosted the conversion value of assets in other currencies, the central bank said Thursday.

   The country's foreign reserves reached US$297.67 billion as of the end of February, up $1.71 billion from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea.

   The reserves rose for the third consecutive month in February, exceeding the previous record high of $295.96 billion tallied in January.

   The foreign reserves have been on the rise as dollar inflows have increased amid robust exports and foreign investors' sustained buying of Korean assets.

   Foreign reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, along with International Monetary Fund reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.

   "The reserve rose as investment profits increased and gains in the euro and the (British) pound bolstered their dollar conversion value," said Shin Jae-hyuk, an economist at the BOK.

   Shin said that when the reserve will hit the $300 billion mark will depend on the movement of the value of non-dollar currencies.

   In February, the euro rose 0.8 percent to the dollar and the British currency advanced 1.5 percent to the greenback.

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

(Yonhap News)