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S. Africa Foreign-Currency Reserves Increase 2% in September

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s gross gold and foreign currency reserves rose the most since January last month as the price of bullion advanced and the dollar dropped, boosting the value of other currencies held by the central bank.

Gross reserves increased 2 percent to $51 billion last month, the Pretoria-based Reserve Bank said on its website today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of five analysts was $50.7 billion. Net reserves rose to $48.8 billion from $48.3 billion.

“The change in the gross reserves reflects valuation adjustments emanating from the increase in the U.S. dollar gold price, the depreciation of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies and the settlement of maturing foreign-exchange swap transactions,” the Reserve Bank said in the statement.

The Reserve Bank will continue to increase reserves even though the practice is costly, Governor Gill Marcus said on Oct. 2. Gross reserves have risen for four straight months, the longest streak since April 2011, as the price of gold surges. The dollar dropped against all 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg last month.

Gold reserves increased by $459 million to $7.1 billion and made up 14 percent of gross reserves. The metal gained 4.7 percent last month.

The rand gained 0.2 percent to 8.5035 at 8:14 a.m. in Johannesburg. The yield on the rand bond due in 2015 was little changed at 5.32 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andres R. Martinez in Johannesburg at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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