The nation’s foreign exchange reserves rose to a new high of US$403.17 billion as of the end of last month, up US$2.21 billion from a month earlier, as the weak US dollar helped boost the conversion value of assets in other currencies, the central bank said yesterday.
For the whole of last year, the foreign exchange reserves surged US$17.62 billion from the end of 2011, the bank’s data showed.
“The main factor behind the increase came from the appreciation of the euro and other main currencies versus the US dollar,” Lin Sun-yuan (林孫源), the director-general of the central bank’s department of foreign exchange, said during a press briefing.
Investment gains also helped increase Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves, Lin added.
Taiwan maintained its position of holding the world’s fourth-largest foreign exchange reserves, behind China, Japan and Russia, the central bank said.
The market value of securities investment and the New Taiwan dollar deposits held by foreign portfolio investors reached US$222.7 billion at the end of last month, equivalent to 55 percent of foreign exchange reserves, the bank said in a statement.
Lin said quantitative easing in major economies boosted liquidity and spurred more foreign portfolio investors to send capital into Taiwan for investment in the securities market
The central bank closely monitors this money held by foreign investors, requesting them to invest in the stock market in a week after the inflow, Lin added.