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South Korea lifts US dollar ratio in forex reserves to 9-year high

[SEOUL] The ratio of US dollar assets in South Korea's foreign currency reserves rose to 66.6 per cent by the end of last year from 62.5 per cent at the end of 2014, central bank data showed on Thursday.

It was the highest level in at least nine years. The Bank of Korea (BOK) began releasing such details of its foreign reserves in 2008.

The BOK said in its annual report the increased ratio of US dollar assets was in line with expectations for rising interest rates in the United States and robust growth in the world's largest economy.

The central bank also said in the report government bonds made up 35.7 per cent of its total foreign currency reserves at the end of 2015, down from 37.1 per cent a year before.

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South Korea's reserves rose by US$4.9 billion in 2015 to mark the seventh consecutive year of increase.

It had US$358.51 billion of foreign reserves at the end of last year, the seventh-biggest in the world and equivalent to 26.0 per cent of its annual gross domestic product.

It did not release further details on its currency or government bond holdings.