List of countries by foreign-exchange reserves

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Foreign-exchange reserves, also called Forex reserves, are, in a strict sense, only foreign-currency deposits held by national central banks and monetary authorities (See List of countries by foreign-exchange reserves (excluding gold)). However, in popular usage and in the list below, it also includes gold reserves, special drawing rights (SDRs) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve position because this total figure, which is usually more accurately termed as official reserves or international reserves or official international reserves, is more readily available and also arguably more meaningful.

These foreign-currency deposits are the financial assets of the central banks and monetary authorities that are held in different reserve currencies (e.g. the U.S. dollar, the Euro, the Japanese Yen, the Chinese Yuan (renminbi), the Swiss Franc and the Pound Sterling) and which are used to back its liabilities (e.g. the local currency issued and the various bank reserves deposited with the Central bank by the government or financial institutions). Before the end of the gold standard, gold was the preferred reserve currency. Some nations are converting foreign-exchange reserves into sovereign wealth funds, which can rival foreign-exchange reserves in size.

The list below is mostly based on the latest available IMF data, and while most nations report in U.S. dollars, a few nations in Eastern Europe report solely in Euros. And since all the figures below are in U.S. dollar equivalents, exchange rate fluctuations can have a significant impact on these figures.

Foreign exchange reserves[edit]

Rank
[a]
Country or region Foreign exchange
reserves
(millions of US$)
Figures as of Change from previous data
(millions of US$) weekly/monthly
Sources
1 Steady  China 3,426,908 31 December 2021 Increase 27,981 [1]
2 Steady  Japan 1,405,750 December 2021 Decrease 4 [2]
3 Steady   Switzerland 1,086,197 October 2021 Increase 8,766 [3]
4 Increase  Russia 638,200 14 January 2022 Increase 7,800 [4][b]
5 Decrease  India 632,736 7 January 2022 Decrease 878 [5] [c]
6 Steady  Taiwan 547,330 November 2021 Increase 630 [6][d]
7 Steady  Hong Kong 499,500 November 2021 Increase 1,500 [7]
8 Increase  Saudi Arabia 464,114 November 2021 Increase 13,587 [8][e]
9 Decrease  South Korea 463,100 December 2021 Decrease 800 [9]
10 Steady  Singapore 418,146 August 2021 Increase 10,410 [10]
11 Steady  Brazil 370,395 August 2021 Increase 14,724 [11]
12 Steady  Germany 296,727 August 2021 Increase 35,393 [12][13]
13 Steady  Thailand 282,172 August 2021 Increase 2,442 [14]
14 Increase  United States 251,238 October 2021 Decrease 1,146 [15][f]
15 Steady  France 244,401 August 2021 Increase 26,127 [12][16]
16 Increase  United Kingdom 229,943 September 2021 Increase 27,774 [17][g]
17 Decrease  Italy 226,908 August 2021 Increase 19,270 [12][18]
18 Increase  Israel 213,029 December 2021 Increase 4,259 [19]
19 Decrease  Mexico 202,303 17 December 2021 Increase 863 [20]
20 Increase  Czech Republic 172,667 December 2021 Increase 2,306 [21]
21 Steady  Poland 169,452 August 2021 Increase 6,427 [12][22]
22 Increase  Indonesia 144,784 August 2021 Increase 7,441 [23]
23 Increase  Turkey 121,837 October 2021 Increase 4,037 [24][h]
24 Steady  Malaysia 115,190 September 2021 Decrease 1,089 [25]
25 Steady  United Arab Emirates 111,078 July 2021 Increase 314 [26]
26 Steady  Philippines 107,670 12 December 2021 Decrease 213 [27]
27 Increase  Canada 106,270 October 2021 Decrease 269 [28]
28 Steady  Vietnam 102,872 July 2021 Increase 2,084 [26]
29 Increase  Spain 91,106 September 2021 Decrease 1,311 [12][29]
30 Decrease  Norway 88,058 August 2021 Increase 5,736 [12][30]
31 Steady  Iran 86,000 February 2020 [31][i]
-  European Union (ECB) 85,602 August 2021 Increase 801 [32][j]
32 Increase  Peru 78,501 15 December 2021 Increase 3,000 [33]
33 Increase  Denmark 78,004 August 2021 Increase 3,648 [12][34]
34 Steady  Libya 73,788 November 2020 Decrease 665 [26]
35 Increase  Iraq 64,000 14 December 2021 Increase 6,092 [35]
36 Steady  Algeria 60,914 October 2020 Decrease 1,454 [26][k]
37 Steady  Colombia 58,161 September 2021 Increase 124 [12]
38 Increase  South Africa 54,473 June 2021 Increase 334 [12]
39 Decrease  Sweden 54,020 6 March 2021 Decrease 1,345 [36][l]
40 Decrease  Netherlands 54,016 May 2021 Increase 2,677 [12][37]
41 Increase  Kuwait 48,202 December 2020 Increase 753 [38][m]
42 Steady  Australia 47,847 April 2021 Decrease 213 [39]
43 Increase  Bangladesh 46,153 December 2021 Increase 1,272 [40]
44 Increase  Romania 45,842 3 January 2022 Increase 1,200 [41]
45 Increase  Chile 42,593 April 2021 Increase 2,373 [12]
46 Steady  Qatar 40,978 December 2020 Increase 93 [42]
47 Steady  Egypt 40,909 7 December 2021 Increase 448 [43]
48 Increase  Nigeria 40,660 22 December 2021 Increase 4,652 [44]
49 Steady  Argentina 39,139 22 December 2021 Decrease 1,956 [45]
50 Decrease  Hungary 36,593 April 2021 Decrease 933 [12][46]
51 Increase  Kazakhstan 34,220 April 2021 Increase 714 [12]
52 Increase  Morocco 34,095 April 2021 Increase 420 [12]
53 Increase  Uzbekistan 33,027 May 2021 Increase 1,380 [47]
54 Decrease  Bulgaria 32,881 April 2021 Decrease 748 [12]
55 Steady  Belgium 31,762 April 2021 Increase 860 [12]
56 Increase  Ukraine 31,614 September 2021 Increase 2,656 [12]
57 Increase  Portugal 29,050 April 2021 Increase 2,391 [12]
58 Steady  Austria 28,513 April 2021 Increase 842 [12]
59 Increase  Croatia 27,319 3 January 2022 Increase 132 [48]
60 Steady  Macau 25,849 April 2021 Increase 819 [49]
61 Increase  Turkmenistan 20,600 February 2017 [31]
62 Decrease  Cambodia 19,500 23 July 2021 Decrease 1410 [50]
63 Steady  Guatemala 18,807 April 2021 Increase 112 [12]
64 Increase  Serbia 18,560 14 December 2021 Increase 175 [51]
65 Increase  Oman 18,000 28 December 2021 Increase 778 [52]
66 Decrease  Pakistan 17,035 14 January 2022 Decrease 562 [53]
67 Steady  Jordan 16,568 April 2021 Decrease 7 [12]
68 Steady  Uruguay 16,058 April 2021 Increase 227 [54]
69 Steady  Angola 15,400 2 January 2022 Increase 391 [55]
70 Steady  New Zealand 14,606 April 2021 Increase 1,684 [12]
71 Steady  Finland 13,298 April 2021 Increase 251 [12][56]
72 Increase  Dominican Republic 12,611 June 2021 Increase 200 [57]
73 Decrease  Lebanon 12,500 21 December 2021 Decrease 30,877 [58]
74 Increase  Ghana 11,403 29 September 2021 Increase 2,445 [59]
75 Decrease  Greece 10,895 February 2021 Increase 277 [12]
76 Decrease    Nepal 10,470 21 December 2021 Decrease 1500 [60]
77 Increase  Paraguay 9,880 April 2021 Increase 199 [12]
78 Increase  Panama 9,613 2020 Increase 5,400 [57]
79 Decrease  Afghanistan 9,446 February 2021 Decrease 60 [26]
80 Steady  Slovakia 9,305 May 2021 Increase 96 [12]
81 Increase  Bosnia and Herzegovina 9,300 29 November 2021 Increase 916 [61]
82 Decrease  Kenya 8,870 21 November 2021 Decrease 630 [citation needed][n]
83 Steady  Tunisia 8,840 March 2021 Decrease 290 [26]
84 Steady  Honduras 8,462 24 December 2021 Increase 320 [62]
85 Increase  Ecuador 8,130 23 November 2021 Increase 4931 [63]
87 Steady  North Korea 8,000 October 2013 [64]
88 Increase  Ireland 7,717 April 2021 Decrease 3 [12]
89 Increase  Azerbaijan 7,689 March 2021 Increase 142 [26]
90 Increase  Mauritius 7,461 April 2021 Increase 133 [12]
91 Increase  Trinidad and Tobago 7,000 August 2021 Increase 644 [65][66]
92 Decrease  Belarus 7,277 April 2021 Increase 337 [12]
93 Steady  Iceland 6,860 April 2021 Increase 74 [12]
94 Decrease  Costa Rica 6,814 29 November 2021 Decrease 320 [67]
95 Increase  Tanzania 6,714 19 November 2021 Increase 1,600 [68]
96 Steady  Myanmar 6,700 2019 Increase 800 [69]
97 Steady  Venezuela 5,908 16 November 2021 Decrease 776 [70]
98 Increase  Latvia 5,404 April 2021 Increase 80 [12]
99 Steady  Botswana 5,080 February 2021 Decrease 267 [26]
100 Steady  Lithuania 4,848 December 2020 Decrease 440 [12]
101 Decrease  Cuba 4,847 March 2020 Decrease 8,391 [57]
102 Increase  Ivory Coast 4,688 November 2017 [31]
103 Decrease  Bolivia 4,624 June 2021 Decrease 651 [71]
104 Decrease  Albania 4,345 26 November 2021 Decrease 400 [72]
105 Increase  Uganda 4,300 1 December 2021 Increase 950 [73]
106 Increase  Nicaragua 4,000 17 December 2021 Increase 1100 [74]
107 Increase  Jamaica 3,905 June 2021 Increase 300 [12]
108 Increase  Mozambique 3,888 2019 [69]
109 Increase  Georgia 3,776 October 2020 Increase 400 [12]
110 Increase  Mongolia 3,697 September 2020 Decrease 300 [12]
111 Steady  Brunei 3,664 February 2021 Increase 98 [26]
112 Increase  Cameroon 3,459 2018 [69]
113 Increase  Moldova 3,453 September 2020 Increase 500 [12]
114 Steady  Bahrain 3,415 February 2020 [citation needed]
115 Decrease  North Macedonia 3,400 9 December 2021 Decrease 1,500 [75]
116 Increase  Armenia 3,192 September 2021 Increase 370 [76]
117 Increase  Sri Lanka 3,100 29 December 2021 Decrease 1,500 [77]
118 Decrease  Ethiopia 2,993 2019 [69]
119 Increase  Kyrgyzstan 2,910 September 2021 Increase 700 [12]
120 Increase  El Salvador 2,510 April 2021 Increase 62 [12]
121 Increase  Papua New Guinea 2,339 2019 Increase 500 [69]
122 Decrease  Haiti 2,296 2019 Decrease 100 [57]
123 Increase  Estonia 2,216 October 2020 Increase 900 [12]
124 Decrease  Namibia 1,924 September 2020 Decrease 25 [12]
125 Steady  Bahamas 1,758 2019 [69]
126 Steady  Madagascar 1,693 2019 [69]
127 Steady  Montenegro 1,529 2019 [69]
128  Mauritania 1,493 2020 [69]
129 Steady  Tajikistan 1,466 2019 [69]
130 Steady  Rwanda 1,465 2019 [69]
131 Steady  Zambia 1,449 2019 [69]
132 Steady  Guinea 1,418 2019 [69]
133  Gabon 1,321 2019 [69]
134 Increase  Cyprus 1,271 August 2020 Increase 200 [12]
135  Bhutan 1,238 2019 [69]
136 Increase  Slovenia 1,217 October 2020 Increase 200 [12]
137  Luxembourg 1,191 December 2020 Decrease 34 [12]
138  Laos 1,068 2019 [69]
139  Curaçao 1,055 31 October 2019 [78][o]
140  Fiji 1,043 2019 [69]
141  Niger 1,039 2015 [69][failed verification]
142  Aruba 982 2019 [69]
143  Kosovo 965 2019 [69]
144 Increase  Malta 928 October 2020 Increase 30 [12]
145  Lesotho 774 2019 [69]
146  Barbados 772 2019 [69]
147  Maldives 762 2018 [69]
148  Cape Verde 737 2019 [69]
149 Increase  Palestine 683 August 2019 Increase 50 [12][p]
150  Democratic Republic of the Congo 665 2018 [69]
151  Timor-Leste 656 2019 [69]
152 Increase  Suriname 647 2019 Increase 65 [69]
153  Mali 624 2015 [69][failed verification]
154 Increase  Guyana 573 2019 Increase 50 [69]
155  Solomon Islands 571 2019 [69]
156 Increase  Seychelles 566 September 2020 Increase 31 [12]
157  Sierra Leone 532 2019 [69]
158  Vanuatu 511 2019 [69]
159  Djibouti 501 2019 [69]
160  San Marino 473 2019 [69]
161 Decrease  Malawi 471 13 October 2021 Decrease 350 [80]
162  Eswatini 440 2019 [69]
163  Republic of the Congo 423 2018 [69]
164  Syria 407 31 December 2017 [31]
165  Federated States of Micronesia 397 2019 [69]
166  Central African Republic 361 2018 [69]
167  Saint Kitts and Nevis 351 2018 [69]
168  Liberia 349 2019 [69]
169  Guinea-Bissau 332 2015 [69][failed verification]
170  Antigua and Barbuda 279 2019 [69]
171  Belize 277 2019 [69]
172  Saint Lucia 260 2019 [69]
173  Yemen 245 31 December 2017 [31]
174  Grenada 236 2019 [69]
175  Tonga 229 2019 [69]
176  Togo 215 31 December 2017 [31]
177  Comoros 202 2019 [69]
178  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 193 2019 [69]
179  Eritrea 191 2019 [69]
180  Gambia 191 2018 [69]
181  Samoa 185 2019 [69]
182  Sudan 177 2017 [69]
183  Dominica 166 2019 [69]
184  Senegal 152 31 December 2017 [31]
185  Zimbabwe 151 2019 [69]
186  Chad 147 2018 [69]
187  Burundi 111 2019 [69]
188  South Sudan 68 2016 [69]
189  Benin 60 31 December 2017 [31]
190  Montserrat 49 31 December 2017 [31]
191  Equatorial Guinea 48 2018 [69]
192  Burkina Faso 45 31 December 2017 [31]
193  São Tomé and Príncipe 47 2019 [69]
194  Somalia 32 31 December 2017 [31]
195  Kiribati 6 2020 Increase [26]

Timeline of the top 5 countries[edit]

The five countries with the largest foreign exchange reserves almost all have reserves of at least 500 billion USD and higher and have maintained such an amount for at least a week. At present there are only six countries whose reserves are at such a figure; this includes China, Japan, Switzerland, India, Russia and Taiwan. Saudi Arabia formerly included on the list until March 2020; its reserves were severely depleted by the low oil price during the economic fallout of from the global outbreak of coronavirus disease, its ongoing oil price war with Russia and competition from US shale oil.[81]

The images below shows the timeline of their reserves since the earliest available forex data. The list is in accordance to their respective positions.

China

Foreign Exchange Reserves of China

The foreign-exchange reserves of China are the greatest of all countries and have been so for more than 14 years.[82][83] The main composition of Chinese forex reserves is approximately two-thirds USD and one-fifth Euros with the rest made up of Japanese Yen and the British Pound. China was the second country to reach $500 billion and the first to reach $1 trillion in reserves. China is also the only country that reached net reserves of $2 trillion and $3 trillion Chinese forex reserve reached over $3.993 trillion and possibly reached $4 trillion before July 2014 but there was no official figures to confirm it.

China began reducing its forex reserves in July 2014 over concerns that the forex reserve level was too high. The practice lasted one and a half years. In January 2017, Chinese forex reserves dipped below $3 trillion briefly and have since remained above that level.

Japan

Foreign Exchange Reserves of Japan

Japanese forex reserves are the second largest in the world. Japan was the first country to reach $500 billion in reserves and had the highest forex reserves in the world until they were surpassed by China in 2006. They have remained in second place since 2006 and above $1 trillion since 2008, being the second country to surpass $1 trillion.[84]

Switzerland

Foreign Exchange Reserves of Switzerland in CHF

Swiss forex reserves are the third largest in the world. Switzerland became the fifth country to reach $500 Billion in 2014 after Saudi Arabia and the third country to reach $1 trillion at the end of 2020. Swiss reserves are compiled in Swiss francs. Since the Financial crisis of 2007-2008, the Swiss franc has significantly appreciated against other currencies due to Switzerland's traditional perceived safety which has attracted speculative foreign capital; due to the inflows of investment income by Swiss firms, and due to the large surplus in the trade of goods. In order to protect the real economy from the sudden speculative appreciation of the currency, the Swiss National Bank began intervening in the currency markets, first with an explicit target of a maximum exchange rate against the euro of 1.20CHF/EUR until 2015,[85] and then through implicit interventions. However, the resilience of the export sector and the continued inflows of capital, has meant that the Swiss Franc has kept appreciating.[86] As a result of this, the SNB has been unable to dispose of its large accumulated foreign exchange reserves since their sale would lead to an even greater appreciation of the currency.

Russia

Foreign Exchange Reserves of Russia

Russian reserves are the world's fourth largest; They have reached a level of $600 billion on 21/05/2021. They were the third country to reach $500 billion.[87] The first fall in reserves was due to the Great Recession, the second fall in 2015 was due to falling oil prices.

India

Foreign Exchange Reserves of India

The Foreign-exchange reserves of India are the fifth largest. On 4 June 2021 reserves exceeded $600 billion for the first time and they became the fifth country after Switzerland to do so.[88] It is expected that India would reach $655 billion mark by the end of March 2022. During the 1991 Indian economic crisis country only had $5 billion of reserves left which led to subsequent economic liberalisation. Since then the reserves have seen a 12,700% increase over 30 years.

Currency composition of foreign exchange reserves[edit]

IMF releases the quarterly data on the currency composition of official foreign exchange reserves. The data are reported to the IMF on a voluntary and confidential basis. As of Q4 2016, there are 146 reporters, consisting of IMF member countries, a number of non-member countries/economies, and other entities holding foreign exchange reserves. From Q4 2016, the data was expanded to include renminbi (RMB).[89] Monetary gold is not covered in COFER but included in reserved assets, a broader scope than that of COFER.[90]

Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER)
(US Dollars, billions)[89]
No. Currency Q4 2016 Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Q3 2017 Q4 2017 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2018 Q1 2019 Q2 2019 Q3 2019 Q4 2019 Q1 2020
1 United StatesUSD 5,501.98 5,713.35 5,909.13 6,124.73 6,280.61 6,530.87 6,560.78 6,632.15 6,617.84 6,727.09 6,752.28 6,728.85 6,674.83 6,794.91
2 European UnionEUR 1,610.87 1,703.13 1,847.19 1,933.68 2,019.25 2,117.57 2,129.41 2,192.43 2,219.34 2,208.79 2,264.88 2,212.74 2,279.30 2,197.30
3 JapanJPY 332.93 399.85 427.79 435.67 491.01 477.28 511.52 532.94 558.36 584.63 611.87 612.75 631.00 624.97
4 United KingdomGBP 365.85 377.89 409.48 434.08 454.12 486.13 469.86 481.10 475.45 495.70 497.41 492.22 511.51 486.08
5 ChinaRMB 90.78 95.42 100.00 108.37 123.47 145.67 192.75 192.38 202.79 212.26 212.80 213.83 215.81 221.48
6 CanadaCAD 163.14 167.49 178.77 192.85 202.80 193.29 200.22 208.74 197.76 208.64 209.85 205.44 206.71 195.13
7 AustraliaAUD 142.30 156.28 162.31 171.22 180.01 176.96 178.61 180.91 174.21 181.95 186.71 182.48 187.18 170.16
8 SwitzerlandCHF 13.69 14.45 15.60 16.31 18.09 17.93 17.18 17.18 15.86 15.27 15.53 16.20 17.36 16.05
Other currencies 199.51 208.28 209.55 228.81 244.69 256.46 254.62 269.60 266.07 263.50 270.56 262.92 281.50 255.53
Unallocated Reserves 2,293.61 2,063.28 1,859.04 1,650.32 1,430.36 1,201.40 951.69 692.22 690.55 712.93 715.88 729.40 749.55 770.32
Total 10,714.68 10,899.42 11,118.86 11,296.05 11,444.41 11,603.57 11,466.63 11,399.66 11,418.24 11,610.77 11,737.76 11,656.82 11,824.74 11,731.94

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ increment & decrement icon of countries resets at end of month or till specific country releases its forex reserve data.
  2. ^ Russian Federation releases both weekly and monthly data of its reserves.
  3. ^ Indian reports are released on a weekly basis rather than the traditional monthly basis with the figures being of the previous week, by Reserve Bank of India.
  4. ^ Known as the Republic of China
  5. ^ Amount calculated on 30 Nov 2021 when 1sar : 0.2665 usd.
  6. ^ Includes 261.499 million fine troy ounces of gold valued at a fixed price of $42.2222 per fine troy ounce. The US releases data on a weekly basis.
  7. ^ Reserves held by the UK Government and Bank of England.
  8. ^ Turkey releases both weekly and monthly data
  9. ^ The Iranian government does not report the foreign exchange reserves as a matter of policy and all figures are estimates calculated by international or foreign institutes, which are occasionally endorsed by Iranian officials without disclosing the exact numbers.
  10. ^ Not to be confused over 'Eurozone' ECB is the common bank of European countries that have opted for Euro as their common currency but eurozone includes the total amount of foreign reserves held by the different European countries central bank and provides collective data of all European members.
  11. ^ Including gold reserves valued @ $1,878.67 per fine troy ounce calculated on 30 October 2020
  12. ^ Sweden releases both weekly and monthly data
  13. ^ Amount calculated on 31 December 2020 when 1 Kuwaiti Dinar: 3.29 USD
  14. ^ Kenya releases data on a weekly basis.
  15. ^ Figure reported in NAf (ANG), and derived using currency peg of 1USD to 1.79ANG.[79]
  16. ^ Name in IMF data is "West Bank and Gaza".

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