Bloomberg News

Switzerland’s Foreign Currency Reserves Declined 2% in June

July 05, 2013

The Swiss National Bank’s foreign-currency reserves fell in June, as the franc strengthened against both the euro and the dollar.

Holdings decreased to 434.9 billion francs ($453.6 billion), from a revised 444.1 billion francs May, the Zurich-based Swiss National Bank said on its website today.

The holdings, calculated according to International Monetary Fund standards at the beginning of every month, hit an all-time peak in May.

In June the reserves had been expected to fall to 436 billion francs, according to the median forecast of 3 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

The SNB, which committed to defending a ceiling of 1.20 per euro in September 2011, has amassed foreign-currency reserves equal to about three-quarters of Switzerland’s annual economic output as a result of its efforts to defend the limit.

Abolishing the ceiling is still a way off, SNB President Thomas Jordan said at the central bank’s most recent policy review on June 20. The SNB cited the risk of deflation as its justification for the currency cap, and it expects consumer prices to fall 0.3 percent this year, slightly more than it previously expected.

The franc gained about 1 percent versus the euro and the dollar in June.

As of the end of the first quarter, the SNB held 48 percent of its reserves in euros, 27 percent in dollars, and 9 percent in yen. The bulk is held in highly rated government bonds with 15 percent in equities. The second-quarter allocation data will be released at the end of July.

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Bosley in Zurich at cbosley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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