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Exchange Fund Abridged Balance Sheet and Currency Board Account

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority:

     The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (February 28) that the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to HK$2,902.8 billion as at January 31, 2013.

     The figure is included in the Exchange Fund Abridged Balance Sheet, which is released monthly together with the Currency Board Account.

     At the end of January 2013 the total assets of the Exchange Fund, at HK$2,902.8 billion, were HK$120.6 billion higher than at the end of December 2012. Foreign currency assets increased by HK$98.9 billion and Hong Kong dollar assets increased by HK$21.7 billion.

     The rise in foreign currency assets was mainly due to purchases of foreign currencies with Hong Kong dollars, valuation gains on foreign currency investments, increases in unsettled purchases of securities and Certificates of Indebtedness. The rise in Hong Kong dollar assets was mainly due to valuation gains on Hong Kong equities and placements received from fiscal reserves. These increases were partly offset by a decrease in Exchange Fund Bills and Notes issued but not yet settled.

     The Currency Board Account shows that the Monetary Base at the end of January 2013 was HK$1,233.6 billion, an increase of HK$16.3 billion, or 1.3%, from the end of December 2012. The rise was mainly due to an increase in Certificates of Indebtedness which reflected the seasonal demand for banknotes around Lunar New Year.
     The Backing Assets increased by HK$15.8 billion, or 1.2%, to HK$1,331.3 billion. The increase was mainly attributable to the issuance of Certificates of Indebtedness and interest from investments which were partly offset by revaluation losses. The backing ratio decreased from 108.07% at the end of December 2012 to 107.93% at the end of January 2013.


     At present, four press releases relating to the Exchange Fund's data are issued by the HKMA each month. Three of these releases are issued to disseminate monetary data in accordance with the International Monetary Fund's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). The fourth press release, on the Exchange Fund's Abridged Balance Sheet and Currency Board Account, is made in accordance with the HKMA's policy of maintaining a high level of transparency. For the month of February 2013, the scheduled dates for issuing the press releases are as follows:

February 7 (Issued)
SDDS International Reserves
(Hong Kong's Latest Foreign Currency Reserve Assets Figures)

February 15 (Issued)
SDDS Analytical Accounts of the Central Bank (Analytical Accounts of the Exchange Fund)

February 28
Exchange Fund Abridged Balance Sheet and Currency Board Account

February 28
SDDS Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity

Ends/Thursday, February 28, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:45


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