SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s foreign reserves rose for the fifth consecutive month in August due to a rise in the value of non-dollar assets and an increase in investment returns, central bank data showed Thursday.
The country’s foreign reserves came to a record high of US$418.95 billion as of end-August, up $2.42 billion from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
Foreign reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, International Monetary Fund reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.
The country’s FX reserves have climbed every month since April. The foreign reserves dropped by the largest amount in over a decade in March, as the U.S. greenback gained ground amid the COVID-19 pandemic-caused market rout.
“The FX reserves rose last month as a weaker U.S. dollar boosted the dollar-conversion value of non-dollar assets, while investment profits rose,” the BOK said.
In August, the euro appreciated 0.5 percent against the U.S. dollar and the British pound rose 1.9 percent against the greenback. But the Japanese yen fell 0.7 percent against the dollar.
Foreign securities came to $382.79 billion as of end-August, up $3.41 billion from the previous month and accounting for 91.4 percent of the FX reserves.
Gold holdings remained unchanged at $4.79 billion.
As of the end of July, South Korea was the world’s ninth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves.