Forex reserves cross $72b

MUMBAI JAN. 25. For the second time within a month, India's foreign exchange reserves soared by over $1 billion to cross a record high level of $72 billion in the week ended January 17. Foreign exchange reserves spurted by $1.053 billion to $72.400 billion in the period under review, according to the Reserve Bank of India's weekly statistical supplement released here today. For the week ended December 28, these reserves had swelled by $1.073 billion.

The recent rise is mainly due to prevailing higher interest rate, heavy FDI inflows, NRI investments and the appreciating rupee.

The RBI said foreign currency assets for the week ended January 17 rose substantially by $1.053 billion to $68.949 billion.

Gold reserves and special drawing rights remained static at $3.444 billion and $7 million respectively.

Loans to State governments have declined by Rs. 497 crores to Rs. 6,684 crores while that to the Centre maintained a nil balance.

Aggregate deposits during the fortnight ended January 10 rose by Rs. 3,011 crores taking the total to Rs. 1,262,138 crores while bank credit was up by Rs. 2,706 crores at Rs. 691,640 crores, it said.

Food credit declined by Rs. 1,805 crores to Rs. 50,142 crores while non-food credit increased by Rs. 4,510 crores to Rs. 641,498 crores, the RBI said.