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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Forex reserves outdo Q1 projections: NBC

Forex reserves outdo Q1 projections: NBC

Cambodian holdings worth $2.4b, bank reports.

THE National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) said on Sunday that foreign exchange reserves have remained steady so far this year despite projections reserves could fall due to reduced foreign investment and therefore foreign currency injections into the economy.

Tal Nay Im, director general of the NBC, said that at the end of June forex reserves not including gold were "estimated" at US$2.4 billion, the same level as in August when reserves climbed to a new record.

That figure dipped slightly to below $2.3 billion in December, but has since recovered, according to the NBC.

In an April outlook for Cambodia, the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit predicted that Cambodia's forex reserves would fall to $1.6 billion by the end of 2010. Explaining the projection at the end of May, EIU's Cambodia economist Danny Richards said: "There will be a negative position on the combined current and financial accounts that will result in a running down of foreign reserves."

However, Tal Nay Im rejected this forecast on Sunday.

"There is no reason that the foreign reserves should decline to that figure," she said, without elaborating further.

On Thursday, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) published its Asia Economic Monitor report that said Cambodia's forex reserves had held steady at the end of the first quarter at $2.4 billion citing data from sources including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

During this period reserves had increased 14.4 percent year on year. This represented a slowing down in growth in the country's foreign reserves - in the fourth quarter forex reserves increased 26.8 percent and in the third quarter 53.3 percent, ADB said.

The IMF will reassess Cambodia's forex reserves during consultaions due in September, it said last month.

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