Taiwan’s forex reserves shrink for third month


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves fell in September for the third consecutive month, but the country still retained its status as the world’s fifth largest foreign exchange holder, according to statistics released by Taiwan’s central bank — the Taipei-based Central Bank of the Republic of China.

The figures showed that as of the end of September, Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves stood at US$281.13 billion, down US$957 million from the August figure.

Lin Sun-yuan, deputy director-general of the central bank’s department of foreign exchange, explained that the decrease was mainly due to September’s outflow of foreign funds, which totaled US$4.8 billion in the first 19 days of the month, compared with US$5 billion in August.

Despite a decrease of US$10.27 billion in foreign currency reserves in the past three months, Taiwan still ranked fifth among the world’s largest foreign exchange holders, behind China with US$1.8 trillion at the end of June, Japan with US$971.3 billion at the end of August, Russia with US$446.1 billion at the end of August, and India with US$282.8 billion at the end of July.

Other statistics show that South Korea ranked sixth, with its foreign currency reserves totaling US$239.2 billion as of the end of September. Singapore and Hong Kong — two of the four Asian “mini dragons” — recorded foreign exchange reserves of US$172.6 billion and US$153.2 billion, respectively, at the end of August.