The Department of Finance Canada announced today that Canada’s official international reserves decreased by an amount equivalent to US$1,004 million during March to US$83,416 million. This was driven by reserves management funding operations (-US$1,300 million)1 and a net gain in investments (US$296 million).2
Details on the level and composition of Canada’s reserves as of March 29, 2019, as well as the major factors underlying the change in reserves, are provided below. All figures are in millions of US dollars unless otherwise noted.
- Net change in securities and deposits resulting from foreign currency funding activities of the Government. Foreign reserves are managed under an asset-liability matching framework. Therefore, when a foreign currency liability matures, assets are used to repay the principal, leading to a decrease in reserves. During March, Canada bills decreased by US$124 million to a level of outstanding bills of US$2,020.1 million. An equivalent of US$100 million in cross-currency swaps was raised while US$1,276.3 million in cross-currency swaps matured during the month.
- Net investment gains and losses include return on investments, foreign currency debt charges and revaluation effects.
- “Return on investments” comprises US$119 million of interest earned on investments and a US$679 million increase in the market value of securities.
- “Revaluation effects” reflect changes in the market value of reserve assets resulting from movements in exchange rates. In March, the revaluation effect was mainly due to the depreciation of the euro and the pound sterling.
- “Net government operations” are the net purchases of foreign currency for government foreign exchange requirements and for additions to reserves.
- “Foreign currency securities” include maturities of foreign currency debt, cross-currency swap payments and an estimate of interest payments on foreign currency liabilities.
- “Securities lent under repurchase agreements” are included in total reserves. Collateral provided in securities lending transactions is not included in total reserves.
- Cash invested under repurchase agreements is included in total reserves. Collateral provided in securities lending transactions is not included in total reserves.
Future Release Dates
The next release is May 3, 2019 (covering the period of April 2019).