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Korea's foreign reserves up in Nov. on dollar's fall

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A clerk sorts $100 banknotes at the headquarters of Hana Bank in Seoul, Oct. 7. Newsis
A clerk sorts $100 banknotes at the headquarters of Hana Bank in Seoul, Oct. 7. Newsis

Korea's foreign reserves increased in November as the dollar-converted value of holdings rose thanks to the greenback's fall, central bank data showed Monday.

The country's foreign reserves stood at $416.1 billion as of end-November, up $2.09 billion from the previous month, according to the data provided by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The value of its non-dollar holdings increased when converted into the dollar thanks to the greenback losing ground against major currencies.

The dollar index, which measures the currency's value against six major peers, weakened about 3.5 percent last month, the BOK said.

November's growth came despite the BOK's currency swap deal with the National Pension Service (NPS) in which it allows the pension operator to tap into the reserves to borrow dollars in exchange for the local currency.

The deal is intended to ease demand for dollars on the spot currency market and defend the won's steep decline. The BOK did not disclose details on dollar borrowing by the NPS.

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

Of the total reserves, foreign securities, such as U.S. Treasuries, were valued at $365.62 billion as of end-November, which accounted for 87.9 percent of total foreign reserves, the data showed.

The value of deposits stood at $26.68 billion, which made up 6.4 percent of the total.

Korea was ranked the world's ninth-largest holder of foreign reserves as of the end of October, the BOK said. (Yonhap)

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