The foreign exchange reserves of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) shrank by 0.4% m/m to USD 39.3bn as of end-July 2013, the bank said in a statement. This followed a 0.8% monthly decline in June, and a 4.5% drop in May, which was also the biggest monthly fall in more than four years.
SARB’s gold reserves jumped 10.4% m/m to USD 5.31bn at end-July, following a 15% monthly drop in June. SDR holdings edged up 0.6% m/m to USD 2.71bn after a 0.5% rise in the previous month.
The central bank’s total gross reserves widened by 0.7% m/m to USD 47.32bn, following a 2.4% decline in June. The bank explained the decline with valuation adjustments stemming from a significant increase in the US dollar gold price and the fluctuation of the USD against the major currencies.
South Africa’s international liquidity position rose 1.3% m/m to USD 45.18bn as of end-July, following a 1.8% fall in the previous month. The increase reflected the growth in gross reserves and the forward position (which represents SARB’s unsettled spot or swap transactions), which was partly offset by a decline in foreign currency deposits received.
SARB has been building foreign currency reserves to act as a buffer against currency volatility.
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