The nation’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$385.55 billion as of Saturday, up US$3.54 billion from a year earlier, marking the lowest annual increase since 2000, the central bank said yesterday.
“The net outflow of foreign capital and exchange rate fluctuations slowed the pace of growth of foreign exchanges reserves,” Lin Sun-yuan (林孫源), director-general of the bank’s foreign exchange department, told a press briefing.
Net outflow of foreign capital totaled US$9.8 billion last year, the second-highest level in history, Lin said, citing data from the Financial Supervisory Commission.
On a monthly basis, Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves declined US$2.42 billion last month, as the euro and other major currencies depreciated in value against the greenback, causing foreign exchange reserves denominated in those currencies to be worth less in terms of the base currency — the US dollar — the central bank said in a statement.
The market value of securities and deposits held by foreign investors at the end of last month reached US$186.6 billion, equivalent to 48 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, slightly up from November’s 47 percent, the statement said.
The data showed Taiwan continues to have the world’s fourth-largest foreign exchange reserves, just behind China, Japan and Russia.