South Korea's foreign-exchange reserves climbed by the largest amount in almost two years in September, aided by a weaker U.S. dollar and sales of currency stabilization bonds, the central bank said Friday.
The country's foreign reserves totaled a record high of US$336.92 billion as of end-September, up $5.83 billion from the previos month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The September gain marked the largest monthly growth since October 2011 when the FX reserves rose by $7.59 billion.
The foreign reserves rose for the third straight month in September after falling by the largest amount in 13 months in June.
Foreign reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, along with International Monetary Fund reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.
The BOK said a weaker U.S. dollar raised the dollar-conversion value of non-dollar assets and investment profit also gained ground, along with the issuance of currency stabilization bonds.
On Sept. 5, South Korea sold dollar-denominated currency stabilization bonds worth $1 billion with a 10-year maturity, the first of their kind in more than three years.
The euro appreciated 1.9 percent to the dollar last month, and the British pound gained 4.2 percent per the greenback.
The country's growing FX reserves and the current account surplus serve as buffers for South Korea at a time when some emerging countries are suffering from foreign capital flight and currency depreciation, triggered by speculation over U.S. stimulus tapering.
As of the end of August, South Korea was the world's seventh-largest holder of foreign-exchange reserves