The list below is mostly based on forex reserves latest available IMF data, and while most nations report in U. Eastern Europe report solely in Euros. And since all the figures below are in U. Hong Kong and Macau report separate figures.
Indian reports are released on a weekly basis with the figures being of the previous week. 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. 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. Hong Kong Monetary Authority — Economic and Financial Data for Hong Kong». IMF — Italy Archived 14 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine. The World Factbook: Reserves of foreign exchange and gold».
Time Series Data on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity. Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Archived 29 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine. This section needs additional citations for verification. In a strict sense, foreign-exchange reserves should only include foreign banknotes, foreign bank deposits, foreign treasury bills, and short and long-term foreign government securities. Foreign-exchange reserves are called reserve assets in the balance of payments and are located in the capital account.
Theoretically, in this case reserves are not necessary. Non-sterilization will cause an expansion or contraction in the amount of domestic currency in circulation, and hence directly affect inflation and monetary policy. For example, to maintain the same exchange rate if there is increased demand, the central bank can issue more of the domestic currency and purchase foreign currency, which will increase the sum of foreign reserves. Thus, intervention does not mean that they are defending a specific exchange rate level. After the end of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s, many countries adopted flexible exchange rates. However, the opposite happened and foreign reserves present a strong upward trend. Ratios relating reserves to other external sector variables are popular among credit risk agencies and international organizations to assess the external vulnerability of a country.
Reserves are used as savings for potential times of crises, especially balance of payments crises. Original fears were related to the current account, but this gradually changed to also include financial account needs. Furthermore, the creation of the IMF was viewed as a response to the need of countries to accumulate reserves. Most countries engage in international trade, so to ensure no interruption, reserves are important. A rule usually followed by central banks is to hold the equivalency of at least three months of imports in foreign currency. The opening of a financial account of the balance of payments has been important during the last decade.