Korea's foreign exchange reserves increased for the fourth straight month in June, as Korea collected dollars loaned to commercial banks at the start of the global financial crisis last year. The Bank of Korea on Thursday said the country's foreign exchange reserves totaled US$231.73 billion as of the end of June, up $4.96 billion from May.
That was the highest since the end of September, when they stood at $239.67 billion after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. Forex reserves have been rising since March, up $30.51 billion over the past six months.
The BOK said reserves increased due to a profit from operating the reserves and collection of dollar loans. Also, the strength of the British pound has led to an increase in the value of the reserves in dollar terms.
Last month, the government collected around $3 billion in foreign currency from commercial banks and put them into the forex stabilization fund, while the NPS repaid $430 million to the BOK. Ha Geun-chul, a manager at the BOK's International Department, said, "Foreign exchange reserves could continue to grow as the government retrieves currency loans and Korea continues to achieve a trade surplus."
As of the end of May, Korea's foreign currency reserves ranked sixth in the world. China ranked first with $1.95 trillion, followed by Japan with $1.02 trillion, Russia with $404.2 billion, Taiwan with $312.6 billion and India with $262.3 billion.