The country's foreign exchange reserves declined by USD 24.02 billion to USD 400.525 billion in April to September period this year, according to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data. The foreign exchange reserves stood at USD 424.54 billion as on March 31, 2018.
In the April to August period, reserves followed a declining trend, from USD 420.52 billion as on April 30, to USD 412.37 billion as on May 31, USD 405.74 billion as on June 30, USD 403.67 billion as on July 31 and USD 400.10 billion as on August 31, the data showed. It rose slightly to USD 400.43 billion in September.
"At the end of June, the foreign exchange reserves cover of imports declined to 10.1 months, from 10.9 months at end-March 2018," RBI said in its half-yearly report on Management of Foreign Exchange Reserves - April-September.
The foreign currency assets comprise multi-currency assets that are held in multi-asset portfolios as per the existing norms, which conform to the best international practices followed in this regard. In the April to September period, out of the total foreign currency assets of USD 376.24 billion, USD 239.37 billion was invested in securities, USD 106.98 billion was deposited with other central banks and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and the balance USD 29.89 billion comprised deposits with overseas branches of commercial banks, the report said.
The net forward liability (payable) of RBI in the domestic foreign exchange market stood at USD 0.96 billion as on September 30. The apex bank held 586.44 tonnes of gold as on September 30, of which 294.14 tonnes are held overseas in safe custody with the Bank of England and the Bank for International Settlements, while the remaining gold is held domestically, according to the report.
In value terms (USD), the share of gold in the total foreign exchange reserves increased marginally from about 5 per cent as on March 31, to about 5.08 per cent as on September 30, it added.
(With inputs from agencies.)