SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s foreign reserves rose for the sixth straight month in September due to the country’s sale of foreign exchange stabilization bonds and an increase in investment returns, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The country’s foreign reserves came to a record high of US$420.6 billion as of end-September, up $1.59 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 risen every month since April after dropping by the largest amount in over a decade in March amid the COVID-19 pandemic-caused market rout.

The foreign reserves rose as the sale of the FX stabilization bonds and an increase in investment profits overshadowed a decline in the value of non-dollar assets.

In September, the country issued two tranches of bonds worth $625 million and 700 million euros for its foreign exchange stabilization operations.

Last month, the euro weakened 2 percent against the U.S. dollar and the British pound declined 3.8 percent versus the greenback. The Japanese yen stayed flat per the dollar.

Foreign securities came to $379.1 billion as of end-September, down $3.7 billion from the previous month and accounting for 90.1 percent of the FX reserves.

Gold holdings remained unchanged at $4.79 billion.

As of the end of August, South Korea was the world’s ninth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves.