Japan’s foreign-exchange reserves hit a record high in March, rising $49.72 billion from the previous month to $826.58 billion, due to massive intervention in the currency market, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.
The reserves registered a record high for the seventh month in a row, after monetary authorities used 4.7 trillion yen for intervention efforts from Feb. 26 to March 29 in a bid to stem rapid gains in the yen against the dollar.
The latest comparable data show that Japan remained the largest holder of foreign reserves of any country or territory for the 52nd straight month, followed by China, another country that is amassing foreign-exchange reserves due to currency operations, the ministry said.
Other reasons for the buildup in Japan’s reserves included the rise in the value of U.S. bonds and a surge in the price of gold, a ministry official said.
That more than offset the fall in the value of the euro against the dollar in March, which pushed down Japan’s euro-denominated assets in dollar terms, according to the official.
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 $625.78 billion in foreign securities at the end of March, up from $584.20 billion in February, and $180.24 billion in foreign currency deposits, up from $172.40 billion.
Of the deposits, $6.65 billion was held in foreign central banks and the Basel-based Bank for International Settlements, $71.17 billion in Japanese banks, and $102.41 billion in foreign banks.