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Hong Kong's Latest Foreign Currency Assets Figures Released

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (7 March) that the official foreign currency assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$93.1 billion at the end of February 2000 (end-January: US$94.3 billion) (Table 1).

Including unsettled forward contracts, the foreign currency assets of Hong Kong at the end of February 2000 also stood at US$93.1 billion (end-January: US$94.2 billion).

According to an HKMA spokesperson, the decrease in foreign currency assets can mainly be attributed to a reduction in currency notes outstanding.

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

The total foreign currency assets of US$93.1 billion represent over six times the currency in circulation or about 38% of Hong Kong dollar M3, one of the highest ratios in the world.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

7 March 2000

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
Jul 99       89.1            -           89.1
Aug 99       89.2          0.1           89.3
Sep 99       90.4            -           90.4
Oct 99       90.4            -           90.4
Nov 99       92.1          0.5           92.6
Dec 99       96.3            -           96.3

Jan 00       94.3         (0.1)          94.2
Feb 00       93.1            -           93.1

Figures for the end of 1995 and 1996 do not include Land Fund figures. The Land Fund was established on 1 July 1997. For July 1997 to October 1998 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             294.5             Feb 2000
(2)  China             154.7             Dec 1999
(3)  Taiwan            113.6             Feb 2000
(4)  Hong Kong         93.1              Feb 2000
(5)  Germany           90.3              Jan 2000
(6)  Korea             79.7              Feb 2000
(7)  Singapore         76.1              Jan 2000
(8)  France            69.9              Jan 2000
(9)  US                69.3              Feb 2000
(10) Italy             44.2              Jan 2000

Sources: HKMA, Reuters, Deutsche Bundesbank, Monetary Authority of Singapore, U.S. Department of Treasury, Bank of Italy.

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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