What is the role of foreign exchange reserves?

2023-06-20
Summary:

Foreign exchange reserves are an important fiscal indicator for a country and can be used to maintain exchange rate stability, respond to international financial crises, and promote international trade.

Foreign exchange reserves refer to the foreign exchange assets held by a country, including foreign exchange cash, foreign exchange deposits, foreign exchange securities, etc. Foreign exchange reserves are an important fiscal indicator for a country and can be used to maintain exchange rate stability, respond to international financial crises, and promote international trade. The scale and structure of foreign exchange reserves reflect a country's economic strength and international status. At present, China is the country with the largest foreign exchange reserves in the world, with a foreign exchange reserve scale exceeding 3 trillion US dollars. The management and utilization of foreign exchange reserves are of great significance for a country's economic development and financial stability.

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What does foreign exchange reserve mean?

Foreign exchange reserves, by official definition, are the foreign exchange assets that government agencies collectively hold in response to international payment demands.


Simply understood, if China wants to trade with other countries but does not recognize the RMB held by other countries and requires other international currencies such as the US dollar, then it needs to use the foreign currency stored for trading, and this portion of long-term funds stored for overseas transactions is foreign exchange reserves.


There are generally two sources:

One type is enterprises and workers engaged in exports. When they sell their products overseas, they usually settle in foreign currency, but it is difficult for ordinary people to consume foreign currency domestically. Therefore, they will go to the bank to exchange it for RMB, which will become foreign exchange reserves.


The other type is foreign investment. Foreign investors conducting related investment activities in China also need to convert foreign currency into RMB, and the converted foreign currency naturally flows into foreign exchange reserves.


Foreign exchange reserves include various foreign currencies, such as the US dollar, Japanese yen, British pound, etc. The exchange rate of each currency will change with different market factors. If there are too many foreign exchange reserves, there are too many types. Different foreign exchange risks are likely to lead to the depreciation of assets held.


What is the role of foreign exchange reserves?

The functions of foreign exchange reserves include:

1. Adjust the balance of international payments and ensure external payment capacity.

The US dollar is the main trading tool in the world, and some foreign trade enterprises must exchange foreign currencies. Therefore, storing foreign exchange reserves can enable these enterprises to "have currency to exchange".


2. Currency intervention to stabilize the exchange rate of the local currency

For example, when the Chinese yuan depreciates, it is necessary to sell the yuan and store the US dollar. When the RMB appreciates, it is necessary to sell off the US dollar and stabilize the price of the RMB through policy intervention.


3. Maintain the international reputation of the RMB and improve its external financing capacity.

Through Article 2, only by stabilizing the domestic exchange rate can the credibility of the RMB in the international arena be improved and the ability to raise external financing be enhanced.


4. We will strengthen comprehensive national power and the ability to resist risks.

A certain amount of foreign exchange reserves plays an important role in the development of a country's international trade and can improve comprehensive national power.

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