Israel Foreign Currency Reserves Fall to $68.3 Billion

Israel’s foreign currency reserves fell from a record in November, the first decline in three months, due to a revaluation of currencies, the Bank of Israel said today.

Reserves declined to $68.3 billion at the end of the month, from $69.6 billion in October, the Jerusalem-based bank said in an e-mailed statement. During November, the dollar strengthened by about 7.4 percent against the euro.

“The decrease was the result of a revaluation that reduced the reserves by $1.4 billion, partially offset by an increase of $20 million due to government transfers from abroad, and an increase of $59 million deriving from private-sector transactions,” the bank said.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer began buying foreign currency in March 2008 and has more than doubled reserves since then in an attempt to limit gains in the shekel and help exporters weather the global economic crisis. Both the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have criticized the policy.

The bank didn’t purchase foreign currency in November, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alisa Odenheimer in Jerusalem at aodenheimer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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