The Bank of Korea and the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday that the total value of the country's foreign exchange reserves amounted to a record 400-point-three billion U.S. dollars in June, up one-point-32 billion dollars from a month earlier.
The nation's foreign reserves increased for the fourth straight month since March, and surpassed the 400 billion dollar mark for the first time.
At the end of May, South Korea placed ninth in the world in terms of the amount of foreign exchange reserves. China ranked in first place with reserves of three-point-110 trillion dollars, followed by Japan with one-point-254 trillion dollars.
South Korea's short-term foreign debt to foreign exchange reserve ratio also fell to about 30 percent as of late March, down from 286 percent in 1997, meaning that solvency also improved.
An official from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said that the growth of foreign exchange reserves and private assets acts as a basis for judging a country's international credit standing.
As for disclosing foreign exchange intervention records, a BOK official said that the current level of disclosure will not have a negative impact on the market, and that it is part of efforts to increase transparency.
South Korea’s foreign reserves have increased more than a hundredfold since the 1997 financial crisis when the figure stood at three-point-nine billion dollars. Foreign reserves stood at 100 billion dollars in September 2001, 200 billion dollars in February 2005, and 300 billion dollars in April 2011.
The recent growth is attributed to a steady increase in the country's current account surplus and a rise in returns from investments of foreign currency assets.