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20 countries with the largest foreign exchange reserves

Last updated on: June 20, 2014 13:57 IST

20 countries with the largest foreign exchange reserves

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Rediff Business Desk

Foreign exchange reserves include a country's gold holdings and convertible foreign currencies held in its banks, including special drawing rights and exchange reserve balances, with the International Monetary Fund.

Forex are often taken as a yardstick to gauge a country's financial strength.

The quantity of foreign exchange reserves can change as and when a country's central bank (Reserve Bank in case of India) implements the monetary policy.

India is among the top 10 nations in terms of foreign exchange reserves.

The list is topped by China.

1. People’s Republic of China

As of September 2013, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $3726 billion.

China has become one of the world's fastest-growing major economies.

As of 2013, it is the world's second-largest economy by both nominal total GDP and purchasing power parity.

Click NEXT to find out the other 19 nations with the largest foreign exchange reserves. . .




Image: China has become one of the world's fastest-growing major economies.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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2. Japan

As of April 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $1282 billion.

Japan has the world's third-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product and the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.

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Image: Japanese women in kimonos walk during heavy snowfall at Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo.
Photographs: Yuya Shino/Reuters
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3. Saudi Arabia

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $733.66 billion.

The country is the world's largest oil exporter.

It figured in the National Power Index list of 20 most powerful countries.

The country has the world's second largest oil reserves and the world's sixth largest natural gas reserves.

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Image: The Kingdom Tower stands in the night in Riyadh.
Photographs: Ali Jarekji/Reuters

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4. Switzerland

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $545.96 billion.

According to Credit Suisse, Switzerland has the highest nominal wealth per adult in the world.

The country also has the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product on the International Monetary Fund list.

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Image: A tramway crosses the 'Kirchenfeld' bridge during snowfall in Bern.
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters.

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5. Russia

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $486.13 billion.

The Russian economy is the eighth largest by nominal gross domestic product and fifth largest by purchasing power parity.

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Image: Moscow Kremlin.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

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6. Taiwan      

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $424.24 billion.

Taiwan is one of the Four Asian Tigers and a member of the World Trade Organization and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

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Image: A dragon-shaped lantern is on display in front of Taiwan's landmark building Taipei 101 during Lantern Festival celebrations.
Photographs: Pichi Chuang/Reuters

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7. Brazil

As of April 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $366.71 billion.

The Brazilian economy is the world's seventh largest by nominal gross domestic product.

A member of the Brazil, Russia, India, China group, Brazil has one of the world's fastest growing major economies.

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Image: Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Photographs: Wilson Neves de Miranda/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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8. Republic of Korea

As of April 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $355.84 billion.

South Korea ranked 12th in the Human Development Index.

The country is the world's seventh largest exporter.

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Image: Performers in traditional Korean costumes dance at Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul.
Photographs: Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters

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9. Hong Kong            

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $316.86 billion.

Hong Kong is the third most important leading international financial centre, after London and New York City.

Hong Kong dollar is the eighth most traded currency.

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Image: A view of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour.
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10. India

As of June 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $312.58 billion.

The Indian economy is the world's tenth largest by nominal gross domestic product and third-largest by purchasing power parity.

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Image: A view of the India Gate in New Delhi.
Photographs: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
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11. Singapore

As of April 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $275.23 billion.

Singapore is one of the world's major commercial hubs.

It has the world’s fourth-biggest financial centre and one of the five busiest ports.

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Image: A tourist boat travels near the Merlion statue overlooking the Marina Bay Sands Casino construction site in Singapore.
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12. Germany

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $207.66 billion.

Germany has the world's fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth-largest by purchasing power parity.

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Image: A coffee garden in Killesberg park in Stuttgart, Germany.
Photographs: Christian Charisius/Reuters
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13. Algeria

As of December 2013, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $192.5 billion.

According to Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Algeria has 17th largest reserves of oil in the world.

Energy exports are the backbone of the economy.

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Image: Algerian coastguards cross the bay of the Mediterranean port of Algiers.
Photographs: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters
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14. Mexico

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $185.46 billion.

Mexico has one of the world's largest economies.

It is the tenth largest oil producer and the largest silver producer in the world.

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Image: Mexico City.
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15. Thailand

As of April 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $168.88 billion.

Thailand ranks second in the best quality of life in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation.

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Image: A skytrain passes over vehicles in Bangkok, Thailand.
Photographs: Kerek Wongsa/Reuters

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16. France

As of April 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $154.83 billion.

France has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product and seventh-largest by purchasing power parity.

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Image: Christmas holiday lights decorate trees along the Champs Elysees with its Arc de Triomphe, in Paris.
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17. Italy

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $152.68 billion.

Italy has a market economy characterised by high per capita GDP and low unemployment rates.

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Image: People take pictures during a video exhibition on the Duomo cathedral facade downtown in Milan, Italy
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18. United States of America

As of June 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $143.77 billion.

The country has the world's largest national economy, with an estimated gross domestic product of $16.8 trillion in 2013.

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Image: A view of Times Square in New York City.
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19. United Kingdom

As of March 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $141.1 billion.

UK is the sixth-largest economy in the world at present and the third-largest in Europe after Germany and France.

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Image: Traffic on the road and the Thames passes the Houses of Parliament in London.
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20. Malaysia  

As of April 2014, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $131.16 billion.

Today, Malaysia has a newly industrialised market economy.

The country’s economy is third largest in Southeast Asia and 29th largest in the world.


Image: A 20 hectare tropical landscape in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
Photographs: David Loh/Reuters

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