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Korea’s foreign reserves slide

Korea’s foreign exchange reserves shrank in May from the previous month as a stronger U.S. dollar reduced the conversion value of assets in other currencies, the central bank said Thursday.

The country’s foreign reserves reached $305.08 billion as of the end of May, down $2.12 billion from April’s record high of $307.2 billion, according to the Bank of Korea. It was the first monthly decline since November last year.

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

“Despite sustained gains in investment profit, the reserves fell mainly because depreciation in the euro and British pound drove down the dollar conversion value,” said Shin Jae-hyuk, an economist at the BOK.

In May, the euro fell 2.8 percent to the greenback and the pound shed 1.6 percent to the dollar. The Japanese yen declined 0.5 percent per dollar.

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

(Yonhap News)