Taiwan forex reserves hit record high, remain No. 4 in world

06/06/2020 06:00 PM
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Taipei, June 6 (CNA) Taiwan retained its position as having the fourth largest foreign exchange reserves in the world at the end of May, as forex reserves hit a record high, according to the central bank.

Data compiled by the central bank showed Taiwan's forex reserves as of May totaled US$484.52 billion, up US$2.73 billion from a month earlier, helping the country retain its position as having the fourth largest forex assets in the world.

The central bank said the increase in the country's forex reserves came partly as a result of growth in returns from the bank's management of its forex reserves, while appreciation of non-U.S. dollar currencies against the greenback, such as the euro, boosted asset value when converted into the U.S. currency.

It was the second consecutive month Taiwan has been No. 4 in forex reserves. In April, Taiwan replaced Saudi Arabia to take the fourth place for the first time in recent years after the Middle East country's forex declined following a plunge in crude oil prices.

As of May 22, India had US$451.7 billion in forex reserves, pushing Saudi Arabia, whose forex reserves stood at US$437 billion at the end of April, into sixth place, the central bank.

China retained the No. 1 spot with forex reserves of US$3.09 trillion at the end of April, ahead of Japan, which held US$1.29 trillion in forex reserves as of April, and Switzerland, which held US$824.6 billion in forex reserves at the end of April, the central bank said.

Despite an increase in Taiwan's forex reserves at the end of May, the central bank said the value of its holdings of Taiwanese stocks, bonds and Taiwan dollar-denominated deposits held by foreign investors fell US$10.3 billion from a month earlier to US$392.4 billion at the end of May.

The drop in foreign investor held assets reflected a 0.45 percent decline in the Taiwan Stock Exchange in May after foreign institutional investors made net sales of about NT$160 billion (US$US$5.33 billion) worth of shares on the local equity market that month.

As a result, foreign-held assets were the equivalent of 81 percent of Taiwan's total foreign exchange reserves as of the end of May, down from 84 percent at the end of April, the central bank said.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)

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