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Hong Kong's Latest Foreign Currency Assets Figures Released

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (7 July) that the official foreign currency assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$88.6 billion at the end of June 1999 (end-May: US$88.9 billion) (Table 1).

Including unsettled forward contracts, the foreign currency assets of Hong Kong at the end of June 1999 also stood at US$88.6 billion (end-May: US$88.9 billion).

In terms of foreign currency reserves ranking, Hong Kong is the world's fifth largest holder of foreign currency reserves after Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan and Germany (Table 2).

The total foreign currency assets of US$88.6 billion represent over seven times the currency in circulation or about 37% of Hong Kong dollar M3, one of the highest ratios in the world.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

7 July 1999

Table 1

Foreign Currency Assets of Hong Kong

(US$ billion)

                Excluding                   Including
                Unsettled     Unsettled     Unsettled
                FX Contracts  FX Contracts  FX Contracts

Dec 95          55.4          1.8           57.2 
Dec 96          63.8          5.7           69.6 
Dec 97          92.8          0.4           93.2 

Jan 98          98.1            -           98.1 
Feb 98          96.7            -           96.7 
Mar 98          96.8          0.1           96.9 
Apr 98          96.2         (0.1)          96.1 
May 98          96.4            -           96.4 
Jun 98          96.5            -           96.5 
Jul 98          96.5         (0.5)          96.0 
Aug 98          92.1         (4.5)          87.6 
Sep 98          88.4         (0.2)          88.2 
Oct 98          88.7         (0.2)          88.5 
Nov 98          88.6            -           88.6 
Dec 98          89.6            -           89.6

Jan 99          90.1            -           90.1
Feb 99          89.8            -           89.8
Mar 99          89.5            -           89.5
Apr 99          89.5            -           89.5
May 99          88.9            -           88.9
Jun 99          88.6            -           88.6

Figures as at the end of 1995 and 1996 do not include Land Fund figures. The Land Fund was established on 1 July 1997. For July 97 to October 98 inclusive, the foreign currency assets of Hong Kong were compiled as the aggregate of Exchange Fund and Land Fund figures. In November 1998, the assets of the Land Fund were merged into the Exchange Fund.

Table 2

Foreign Currency Reserves Ranking

                       US$ billion     As at end of

(1)  Japan             246.4           June 1999

(2)  China             146.7           April 1999

(3)  Taiwan            97.7            June 1999

(4)  Germany           89.8            May 1999

(5)  Hong Kong         88.6            June 1999

(6)  Singapore         73.9            May 1999

(7)  US                72.1            May 1999

(8)  France            68.0            May 1999

(9)  Korea             62.0            June 1999

(10) Italy             42.4            May 1999

Sources: HKMA, Reuters, Deutsche Bundesbank, Singapore Department of Statistics, U.S. Department of Treasury.

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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