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Forex reserves rise $243 m

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, May 4

THE country's forex reserves continued to gain, rising by $ 243 million to $ 55.316 billion for the week ended April 26, 2002 as compared to $ 55.073 billion in the previous week, as per latest figures released by the RBI.

Foreign currency assets held in the reserves increased by $ 243 million to $ 52.257 billion while gold and special drawing rights remain unchanged at $ 3.047 billion and $ 12 million respectively. According to the RBI report on Macroeconomic and Monetary Developments in 2001-02, the country's forex reserves increased substantially during 2001-02 from $ 42.3 billion as at end March 2001 to present levels with a large part of the rise concentrated in the period since November 2001.

"This was almost entirely on account of foreign currency assets which increased by $ 11.5 billion to $ 51 billion by end-March 2002. The value of gold holdings of RBI also increased by $ 0.3 billion to $ 3 billion during the same period,'' the report said.

It adds that the accumulation of forex reserves in line with RBI's policy for maintaining an adequate level of foreign exchange reserves to meet import requirements, unforeseen contingencies and liquidity risks associated with different types of capital flows.

Meanwhile, the rupee continued to hold steady against the dollar in the forex markets, ending at around 48.97/9825 to a dollar. The rupee had traded in the band of 48.94-98 against the dollar during the week.

According to the RBI report, foreign exchange markets exhibited stable conditions during the year 2001-02 with the exchange rate of the rupee vis-a-vis the dollar moving within a range of Rs 46.56-48.85 per dollar during 2001-02.

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