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India's Forex Reserves cross half trillion dollars for the first time

MUMBAI: India’s foreign exchange reserves rose $8.2 billion in the week of June 5 and has now crossed the milestone $500 billion mark for the first time in country’s history.

The healthy surge in the forex kitty was largely on the back of capital raising rounds by RelianceNSE 1.00 % and Kotak MahindraNSE -1.23 % as the foreign currency asset held by the Reserve Bank of India rose $8.4 billion and stood at a record $463 billion in the reporting week, data released by the central bank on  Friday showed.

Expressed in US dollars, foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.India’s central bank has been shoring up its foreign reserves since over a year and in the process has leapfrogged Russia and South Korea as the third-biggest holder of forex reserves only behind China and Japan.

“We feel that the inflows coming in on account of Foreign Direct Investment and debt raising exercises by domestic financial institutions and Non-Banking companies would have largely contributed to the surge in inflow,” Saugata Bhattacharya is the Chief Economist at Axis Bank.

“In times like this, the news is a significant psychological milestone.”Rating agency S&P’s decision earlier this week to not downgrade India’s sovereign rating and outlook is also expected to improve the foreign fund flow from global investors.

The prime objective of RBI's reserve management policy is liquidity and safety of reserves.

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