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BOK cuts U.S. dollar share of foreign assets in 2019

All News 12:00 March 31, 2020

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's central bank said Tuesday that it slightly reduced the portion of U.S. dollar-denominated assets in its overall foreign assets from a year earlier in 2019.

As of end-2019, dollar-denominated holdings accounted for 69.1 percent of overall foreign assets held by the Bank of Korea (BOK), the central bank said in its annual report.

The reading marks a 0.7 percentage point drop from a year earlier.

"The portion of U.S. dollar-denominated assets slightly fell due to a rise in the portion of assets in trust investment that places less weight on U.S. dollar-denominated assets than direct investment," the BOK said.

BOK cuts U.S. dollar share of foreign assets in 2019 - 1

Foreign assets do not necessarily mean foreign exchange (FX) reserves, and generally include such funds. South Korea's FX reserves stood at US$408.82 billion as of the end of 2019.

The BOK said its net profit jumped more than 65 percent on-year to over 5.31 trillion won ($4.35 billion) in 2019 from 3.21 trillion won the year before.

Such a sharp increase was largely attributed to an increase in returns on its foreign assets.

"Its overall revenue increased by a large margin on increased profits from sales of foreign securities ... while its total costs dwindled on reduced losses from sales of its foreign securities," it said.

The BOK said 30 percent of its net profit, or about 1.6 trillion won, will go to its legal reserves as required by law, with the remaining 3.7 trillion won to be placed into the state coffers.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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