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Forex reserves dip
December, 19th 2009

Foreign exchange reserves dipped $1.63 billion during the week ended December 11 largely on account revaluation of non-dollar assets in the reserves.

The latest figures released by the Reserve Bank of India on Friday indicate that the total foreign exchange reserves, including gold and special drawing rights (SDR - reserve currency with the International Monetary Fund), dipped $1,632 million to touch $285.74 billion during the week ended December 11.

While foreign currency assets dipped $1,561 million, the value of SDR and the reserve capital reserves with IMF dipped $56 million and $15 million, respectively, during the week.

The dollar had gained heavily against major global currencies during the week causing the revaluation of non-dollar assets such as the sterling pound and the euro in reserves, said a treasury official with a public sector bank on condition of anonymity.

Almost 40% of the reserves is believed to be comprised in non-dollar assets, including the sterling pound, the yen, the euro and the yuan, though no central bank makes their currency composition of reserves public.

The RBI data on the central banks dollar purchases indicates that of late the central bank has not been intervening significantly in the currency markets.

This implies that much of the change in reserves is due to revaluation of non-dollar assets or intervention through non-dollar currencies.

As per the updated money supply figures, the total stock of money comprising cash currency and deposits with the banks amounted to Rs 52,18,623 crore as on December 04, up Rs 23,338 crore (0.4%) over the previous fortnights levels.

This growth was largely due to growth in all components of money supply-currency with the public, demand and term deposits, which rose Rs 6,690 crore, Rs 6,458 crore and Rs 11,315 crore, respectively. The annual money supply growth now stands at 17.7%, lower than previous years 20.3%.

In the other developments, both the central and state governments have kept their ways and means advances (WMA) account with RBI vacant during the week ended December 11.

WMA is a facility, under which the government (state as well as the centre) can borrow from the central bank to meets its daily revenue mismatches. While borrowings within the limit is at the prevailing repo rate, borrowings above the agreed limit (between the government and RBI) is at 2% higher than repo rate.

 
 
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