Forex reserves drop to 15-month low at $292.52 billion

January 21st, 2012 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 21 (IANS) India’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $1.01 billion to $292.52 billion for the week ended Jan 13, the lowest in more than 15 months.

The fall was for the sixth week in a row, mainly because of revaluation of non-dollar assets and sale of dollars by the central bank to curb the rupee’s slide.

Data released by the Reserve Bank of India showed that the forex reserves kitty had dropped by over $28 billion since October-end, largely because of the sale of dollars by the bank to rein in the value of rupee against the greenback.

Another reason for such a drop in the forex reserves kitty in the recent weeks was the revaluation of non-dollar assets in the reserves, especially euro, which has depreciated sharply against the US dollar.

The forex reserves kitty had dropped by $3.14 billion for the first week of 2012. The reserves have dropped by $14.25 billion in the last six weeks under review.

Foreign currency assets, the biggest component of the forex reserves, dropped by $1 billion to $258.80 billion for the week ended Jan 13, according to the RBI’s weekly statistical supplement.

The RBI did not provide any reasons for the change in foreign currency assets.

It said the assets expressed in US dollar terms included the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the pound sterling, euro and yen held in reserve.

The value of special drawing rights (SDRs) dropped by $4.7 million to $4.41 billion, and India’s reserves with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $2.8 million to $2.69 billion.

However, the value of gold reserves remained unchanged at $26.62 billion.

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