Forex reserves are currency assets such as monetary, gold, Foreign marketable securities, and the reserve position in the IMF

Foreign Exchange Reserves

The Foreign Exchange Reserves are the foreign currency deposits held by the Domestic Monetary Authority (Central Bank or other authority) of each country. The following table presents the countries with the highest foreign-exchange reserves by incorporating the gold reserves.

 

Foreign Reserves -Explanation

Forex reserves are currency assets such as monetary, gold, Foreign marketable securities, and the reserve position in the IMF.

Purpose

The Foreign exchange reserves help countries to fulfill their international payments but also to hedge against exchange rate risks and to protect their currencies against speculative attacks.

 

Reserve Currencies

A reserve currency (or else anchor currency) is a currency that is held by governments and large financial institutions as Foreign exchange reserves. A reserve currency is often seen as a safe-haven currency in case of financial turmoil, but also as a hard-currency against weak currencies. Major reserve currencies include the US Dollar, the Euro, the British Pound Sterling, and the Japanese Yen. China's currency (Yuan Renminbi) is not considered a reserve currency due to the Chinese government's monetary controls. 

 

Highest Foreign Reserves

The table below presents countries with the highest reserves by incorporating the following reserve types:

■ Foreign Currency Deposits (USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, JPY etc)

■ Gold Reserves

■ Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)

■ IMF (International Monetary Fund) Reserves

Note: The Forward Currency SWAP Contracts are not incorporated (until they mature)

 

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Table: Countries with the highest foreign-exchange reserves in USD (source: IMF)

Ranking

Country

Foreign Reserves (Million USD)

1

China

4,009,553

2

Japan

1,283,920

3

Saudi Arabia

737,715

4

Switzerland

548,861

5

Russia

467,227

6

Taiwan

426,784

7

Brazil

368,752

8

Republic of Korea

360,913

-

Hong Kong

320,225

9

India

315,779

10

Singapore

276,142

11

Germany

202,734

12

Algeria

192,500

13

Mexico

190,594

14

Thailand

168,885

15

France

154,839

16

Italy

152,824

17

USA

143,774

18

UK

141,103

19

Malaysia

131,167

20

Turkey

130,591

21

Libya

120,900

22

Indonesia

105,563

23

Poland

102,466

24

Israel

86,491

25

Denmark

85,413

26

Philippines

80,242

27

Canada

77,295

28

Iraq

71,240

29

Iran (see note below)

68,060

30

Sweden

66,022

31

Peru

64,794

32

Norway

63,517

33

UAE (United Arab Emirates)

58,040

34

Czech Republic

57,861

35

Australia

57,771

36

Lebanon

51,950

37

Hungary

49,908

38

South Africa

49,454

39

Romania

47,444

40

Spain

47,030

41

Netherlands

46,594

42

Colombia

43,549

43

Qatar

41,468

44

Chile

40,970

45

Nigeria

39,001

46

Angola

37,940

47

Kuwait

34,350

48

Vietnam

32,490

49

Argentina

28,542

50

Kazakhstan

28,440

51

Belgium

27,114

52

Austria

24,203

53

Venezuela

21,150

54

Bangladesh

20,268

55

Bulgaria

19,248

56

Portugal

18,989

57

Morocco

18,317

58

New Zealand

18,139

59

Ukraine

17,899

60

Egypt

16,979

61

Croatia

16,619

62

Uruguay

16,497

63

Serbia

15,870

 -

Macau

15,280

64

Pakistan

14,637

65

Jordan

14,470

66

Bolivia

14,460

67

Azerbaijan

13,080

68

Finland

11,432

69

Trinidad and Tobago

10,070

70

Lithuania

8,088

71

Costa Rica

7,704

72

Guatemala

7,170

73

Greece

6,750

74

Sri Lanka

6,452

75

Paraguay

6,336

76

Cambodia

5,415

77

Belarus

5,393

78

Dominican Republic

4,379

79

Nepal

4,339

80

Iceland

4,155

81

Mauritius

3,723

82

Latvia

3,534

83

Honduras

3,019

84

El Salvador

2,957

85

Moldova

2,727

86

Georgia

2,599

87

Slovakia

2,299

88

Kyrgyzstan

2,080

89

Nicaragua

2,005

90

Armenia

1,970

91

Ireland

1,658

92

Mongolia

1,605

93

Slovenia

1,157

94

Luxembourg

958

95

Malta

912

96

Cyprus

910

97

Laos

846

98

Estonia

462

Note: Iran does not report its foreign reserves policy and the above figure is based on estimation

 

 

■ Resources:

(i) ECB -The Currency Composition of International Reserves

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1715.pdf?485e29e6bbcff9684dfb4cc545b2aefc

(ii) IMF -Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves

http://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2017/03/31/pr17108-IMF-Releases-Data-on-the-Currency-Composition-of-Foreign-Exchange-Reserves

(iii) Wikipedia -Reserve Currencies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_currency

 

 

Foreign Exchange Reserves

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