Wednesday, 24, July, 2024

Uzbekistan’s official reserves as of May 1 stood at $36.63 billion (+4.3%), recording an increase by $1.53 million in April, the Central Bank said in a report. This is a historical high for the entire period of Central Bank statistics (since January 2013).

For the first time, securities worth $35 million figured in reserves. Earlier, the regulator announced that it had begun to diversify gold and foreign exchange reserves and began purchasing government bonds of foreign countries.

According to the regulator, last month foreign currency reserves increased by $1.24 billion to $9.27 billion. However, year-to-date (January-May), foreign reserves have decreased by $102.9 million, including due to the repayment of debt on sovereign Eurobonds worth $500 million, which the country issued in 2019.

The physical volume of gold in reserves decreased by 622 kg - to 11.42 million troy ounces (356.45 tons). This is the lowest figure since May 2022 (11.42 million).

Meanwhile, the value of gold reserves increased by $278.8 million to $26.8 billion. In May, gold prices rose from $2,319 to $2,350 per ounce (+1.33%).

It is worth noting that the Central Bank in its reserves also indicated the assets of the Uzbekistan Fund for Reconstruction and Development of (UFRD), which has actually become part of the state budget. While, its volumes have not been disclosed. S&P Global Ratings reported that it excludes UFRD assets from the Central Bank’s reserves, as “the fund’s assets are intended primarily for fiscal, rather than monetary or payment needs.”

It is estimated that Uzbekistan's available foreign exchange reserves will decline until 2027 due to an expected fall in gold prices and the ongoing current account deficit. The reserves of monetary gold of the Central Bank account for more than 80% of the total volume of gold and foreign exchange reserves. The Central Bank has a priority right to purchase gold mined in Uzbekistan. He buys gold with local currency and then sells dollars on the local market to offset the impact of his intervention on the Uzbek soum.

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