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Hong Kong's Latest Foreign Currency Assets Figures Released

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority(HKMA) announced that the official foreign currency assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$90.1 billion at the end of January 1999,showing a small increase of US$0.5 billion from US$89.6 billion at the end of December 1998 (Table1).

The increase in foreign currency assets was mainly attributable to an increase in the investment returnon the foreign currency assets.

Including unsettled forward contracts,the foreign currency assets of Hong Kong at the end of January1999 stood at US$90.1 billion (End-December: US$89.6 billion).

Hong Kong is the world's fourth largest holder of foreign currency reserves after Japan, MainlandChina and Taiwan (Table2). The total foreign currency assets of US$90.1 billion represent over seven times the currency in circulation or about 40% of Hong Kong dollar M3, one of the highest ratios in the world.

In accordance with the International Monetary Fund's Special Data Dissemination Standards, the HKMA will publish data on foreign currency assets of the Exchange Fund within one week of the end of the reference month. The disclosure initiative aims to provide the public with more relevant, frequent and timely indicators of the monetary conditions in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

8 February 1999

 

TABLE 1

Exchange Fund -- ForeignCurrency Assets of Hong Kong (US$ billion)
. Excluding Unsettled FXContractsUnsettled FX ContractsIncluding Unsettled FXContracts
March 95 52.4 (0.2) 52.2
June 95 53.6 - 53.6
September 95 51.8 2.8 54.6
December 95 55.4 1.8 57.2
March 1996 58.1 1.7 59.8
June 96 57.3 2.7 60.0
September 96 55.4 6.7 62.1
December 96 63.8 5.7 69.9
February 1997 63.8 4.3 68.1
March 1997 63.4 4.3 67.7
April 1997 63.6 4.0 67.6
May 1997 66.6 1.8 68.4
June 1997 67.6 2.1 69.7
July 1997 * 81.7 2.6 84.3
August 1997 85.3 0.2 85.5
September 1997 88.1 0.7 88.8
October 1997 91.4 0.3 91.7
November 1997 96.5 0.4 96.9
December 1997 92.8 0.4 93.2
January 1998 98.1 - 98.1
February 1998 96.7 - 96.7
March 1998 96.8 0.1 96.9
April 1998 96.2 (0.1) 96.1
May 1998 96.4 - 96.4
June 1998 96.5 - 96.5
July 1998 96.5 (0.5) 96.0
August 1998 92.1 (4.5) 87.6
September 1998 88.4 (0.2) 88.2
October 1998 88.7 (0.2) 88.5
November 1998# 88.6 - 88.6
December 1998 89.6 - 89.6
January 1999 90.1 - 90.1

* For July 97 to October 98 inclusive, the figures reflect the aggregate of Exchange Fund and Land Fund figures. Figures for June 97 and prior months reflect the Exchange Fund's figures only. The Land Fund was established on 1 July 1997. Figures for the Land Fund prior to that date are therefore not available.

# In November 1998, the assets of the Land Fund were merged into the Exchange Fund.

 

TABLE 2

Foreign Currency ReservesRanking
- - US$BNAs at end of
(1) Japan 222.2 Jan1999
(2) China 145.0 Dec1998
(3) Taiwan 91.9 Jan1999
(4) Hong Kong 90.1 Jan1999
(5) US 81.0 Oct1998
(6) Germany 80.3 Dec1998
(7) Singapore 75.0 Dec1998
(8) Spain 69.5 Nov1998
(9) Korea 53.6 Jan1999
(10) France 49.8 Nov1998

Source: HKMA, IMF, Reuters, Singapore Department of Statistics

Last revision date: 7 September 2011
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