China’s forex reserves rise to $4.16 trillion

BEIJING China's foreign exchange reserves rose to their highest in more than a year last month, blowing past economists' estimates, as tight regulations and a strong yuan continued to discourage capital outflows, central bank data showed yesterday.

Notching up their 11th straight month of gains, reserves hit US$3.14 trillion (S$4.16 trillion) - an increase of US$20.2 billion - last month, the highest since September 2016 and the biggest monthly increase since last July. That compares with an increase of US$10 billion last November.

Economists had expected reserves to rise by US$6 billion to US$3.125 trillion.

The yuan rose around 6.8 per cent against the greenback last year, recovering from a 6.5 per cent loss in 2016 and reversing three straight years of depreciation.

For the full year, China's foreign exchange reserves rose US$129.5 billion from US$3.011 trillion at the end of 2016 - the first annual rise since 2014.

China's foreign exchange regulator said it would keep the nation's foreign exchange reserves and international balance of payments "balanced and stable" this year. China's reserves dropped by nearly US$1 trillion from a peak of US$3.99 trillion in June 2014 to US$2.998 trillion in January last year as it sought to shore up the yuan and reduce potentially destabilising capital outflows. But reserves have since climbed by US$142 billion.- REUTERS