From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Tue Mar 09 2004 - 11:57:29 EST
HindustanTimes.com Monday, March 8, 2004 Asian reserves at $2.1 trillion, Singapore tops $100 bn Reuters Singapore, March 8 Asian foreign exchange reserves have grown strongly at the start of 2004, rising by over $164 billion to $2.073 trillion in the first two months of the year, according to figures from the region's central banks. Figures on Monday showed Singapore's reserve holdings rose by $2.5 billion in February to $101.1 billion -- making it the seventh Asian economy after Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and India to hold over $100 billion in reserves. With China and Hong Kong yet to report figures for February, Asian reserve holdings have risen 8.6 per cent since the end of 2003. On Friday, Japan said its reserves rose by $35.7 billion to $776.9 billion. Japan's reserves have increased by $103.4 billion, or 15.4 per cent, in the first two months of 2004. Its reserves rose by $203.8 billion in all of 2003. The build-up of Asian forex reserves, mostly in US dollars, largely reflects intervention by the region's monetary authorities to prevent strong portfolio inflows and rising export receipts from strengthening their currencies. The intervention has continued despite criticism of the policy from the Group of Seven leading industrial nations. Analysts have said while holdings remain mostly in US dollars, there have been some signs that Asian central banks are starting to diversify into more euro-denominated assets. © Hindustan Times Ltd. 2004.
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