S.Korea May FX Reserves Post Record Monthly Gain

South Korea's foreign exchange reserves reported their biggest monthly rise ever in May, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

The jump came on the back of investment gains, the central bank's call back of dollar supplies to local banks via swap deals and a surge in the euro and the pound, the central bank said.

South Korea's foreign exchange reserves rose by $14.29 billion, or some 7 percent, to $226.77 billion at the end of May from $212.48 billion at the end of April, the Bank of Korea said in a statement.

The central bank recovered $4.7 billion from local banks while rolling over only part of the $5.3 billion 3-month currency swap deals maturing in May.

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An improving international balance of payments also contributed to the increased reserves, as the country posted a trade surplus of $5.15 billion and foreign investors bought a net 4.14 trillion won ($3.36 billion) worth of local stocks in May.

The Bank of Korea will release detailed balance of payments figures for May later this month.

The central bank said 85.7 percent of the reserves were invested in securities, followed by 13.8 percent deposited in financial institutions.

South Korea's foreign exchange reserves ranked sixth in the world at the end of April after those held by China, Japan, Russia, Taiwan and India.