Top 25 Countries with Highest Foreign Currency Reserves in the World

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Do you know which are the countries with highest foreign currency reserves in the world? Let’s find out together.

We will assume that not many of you are familiar with the term. So, in order to understand our main topic, we will first tell what foreign reserves of one country are, and can we rank international reserves by country. International reserves are any kind of reserve funds that pass between the central banks of different countries in the world as an acceptable form of payment. The reserves can either be gold or some else specific currency, like dollar or euro.

Another term for foreign currency reserves is foreign-exchange reserves or forex reserves. They can also be used to pay its liabilities if necessary, and they are held either in one or more reserve currencies. COFER is a database that is managed by the International Monetary Fund’s Statistics Department, and it contains data of reporting countries. They identified eight most frequent foreign currencies: U.S. dollar, euro, Chinese renminbi, Japanese yen, pound sterling, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, and Swiss franc. All other currencies are considered to be “other currencies.” COFER data are reported to the IMF on a voluntary and confidential basis in order to safeguard individual country information. However, 146 countries confined their foreign reserves information with COFER.

Top 25 Countries with Highest Foreign Currency Reserves in the World


While doing our research, we came upon many lists of countries with foreign currency reserves that are not very clear or backed up with a proper source. But then we found out about CEIC – Euromoney Institutional Investor Company. It was founded in 1992 by a team of expert economists and analysts. Now, they provide one of the most expansive and accurate data insights into more than 195 economies in the world. So, our choice was clear! The CEIC offered the most recent data when it comes to the world’s forex reserves in 2017. As the USD mn data is updated monthly, we just wanted to emphasize that we used data for November 2017, as it was the last data we could find for all the countries on the list below. Moreover, so that you have a broader perception of how fast and drastically these things change, we compared for each country its forex reserves for the years 2011 and 2012, derived from the Global Finance’s data which are based on the IMF and World Bank reports. Also, we wrote few lines for each country and compared mentioned data. We made the ranking according to the CEIC source, as the information is the most recent. Forex reserves for each country are expressed in US dollars.

So, you may be wondering if you are going to read about Pakistan’s forex reserves, Saudi Arabian or Japan’s foreign reserves? I will say no, yes and yes, but nothing else. You are not going to read about US either, since the country has $42,567.00 in forex reserves what wasn’t enough for our list. Nevertheless, below are countries with highest foreign currency reserves in the world, and some of them are the definitely of the list of top 25 richest, healthiest, and most advanced countries in the world, as well! If you are interested in the list of countries by gold reserves, check out 25 Countries with Largest Private and Public Gold Reserves.

For now, let’s stick to our topic and check out the results of our research. Simply click on Next and start reading about foreign currency reserves in 25 different countries!

25. Norway

Foreign currency reserves: $64,249.3

In October 2012 IMF noted that this country had $55,310.0 in forex reserves. Now, the situation drastically changed as you can see by yourselves.

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