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S. Korea: Bank of Korea to Alter Foreign-exchange Reserves to Boost Profit
Source: koreaherald.com
Source Date: Monday, October 18, 2010
Focus: Internet Governance
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: Oct 25, 2010

The Bank of Korea plans to adjust its foreign-exchange reserve portfolio to increase profit and manage risk amid heightened fluctuations in financial markets. “Our bank will carefully diversify reserves for higher profit after considering the international investment environment and the reserves’ growth trends,” the central bank said in a report prepared for parliamentary audit. “We will manage risks with attention to increased volatility.” The report comes after the U.S. dollar fell to a 15-year low against the yen and reached parity with the Australian and Canadian dollar last week. The Dollar Index, which compares the greenback against major currencies such as the yen and euro, touched 76.144 on Oct. 15, the lowest level since Dec. 11. The Bank of Korea’s dollar-holdings fell to 63.1 percent of its foreign-exchange assets in 2009 from 64.5 percent in 2008, similar to the international average of 62.1 percent, according to the report. The bank also said that its foreign-exchange reserves, which rose to a record of $289.78 billion in September, are “enough” to endure capital flight during an emergency. The central bank will implement additional measures to contain foreign debt if needed, according to the report. The country’s overseas borrowing is increasing due to foreign demand for government bonds, thought it is not climbing by a “significant” amount, it said. The report also mentioned that the easing of mortgage-lending regulations has not produced a visible impact on the sluggish housing market. The central bank must guard against a household debt bubble, even though the chance of one occurring is low, because it could threaten the country’s growth potential, according to the report.
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