Japan’s foreign-exchange reserves at the end of December hit a new record, up $9.26 billion from a month earlier to $469.73 billion, the Finance Ministry said Friday.
The jump was due to a rise in prices of Japan’s U.S. bond holdings, as well as the strengthening of the euro against the dollar, which pushed up the value of Japan’s euro-denominated investments in dollar terms, a ministry official said.
The rise in the foreign-exchange reserves followed their first drop in eight months in November. The previous all-time high was $460.98 billion in October.
Japan remained the largest holder of foreign reserves of any country or territory for the 37th consecutive month, followed by China, which overtook the euro region for second place, according to the latest comparable data, the ministry said.
The foreign-exchange reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in foreign currencies plus International Monetary Fund reserve positions, IMF special drawing rights and gold.
Japan had $387.74 billion in foreign securities in December, up from $378.69 billion in November, and $63.72 billion in foreign-currency deposits, down from $64.37 billion.
Of the deposits, $4.62 billion was at foreign central banks and the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements, while $33.35 billion was at Japanese banks and $25.75 billion was at foreign banks.
Japan had $8.54 billion in gold, up from $7.85 billion in November.
It had $7.20 billion in IMF reserve positions and $2.53 billion in special drawing rights.
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