Taipei, Jan. 4 (CNA) Taiwan's foreign exchange reserves hit another all-time high at the end of December because of an increase in returns on the portfolio managed by Taiwan's central bank, the bank said Friday.
Several non-U.S. dollar currencies in the portfolio appreciated against the greenback and when the assets denominated in these currencies were converted into U.S. dollars, the December forex reserves also grew in the month.
Data compiled by the central bank showed Taiwan's forex reserves rose US$409 million from a month earlier to US$461.78 billion as of the end of December, hitting a new high for the second consecutive month.
The country's forex reserves were 2.27 percent higher at the end of 2018 compared with the end of 2017, the data indicated.
Harry Yen (顏輝煌), head of the central bank's Foreign Exchange Department, said the U.S. dollar weakened against several other major currencies in December to boost the value of the forex reserves during the month.
According to Yen, the euro appreciated against the U.S. dollar by 0.65 percent, the Japanese yen rose 2.78 percent and the Chinese yuan gained 1.56 percent in December, while the Australia dollar and British pound moved lower.
The central bank said the holdings of Taiwanese stocks, bonds and Taiwan dollar-denominated deposits by foreign investors stood at US$336.6 billion at the end of December, down from US$344.2 billion at the end of November.
Foreign-held assets at the end of December were equivalent to about 73 percent of Taiwan's foreign exchange reserves, down from 75 percent the previous month, the central bank data showed.
The fall in the foreign-held assets reflected a move by foreign investors to cut their holdings in local equities amid volatility in the global financial markets and remit their funds out of Taiwan's market, according to the central bank.
The central bank has repeatedly said it is committed to maintaining ample forex reserves by improving investment returns to guarantee secure financial markets at home, even if foreign institutional investors move funds out of the country.
(By Pan Tsu-yu and Frances Huang)