The Bank of Israel made no currency purchases last month, contradicting speculation that it intervened in currency trading to stem the shekel’s depreciation.
Israel’s foreign exchange reserves at the end of February 2023 stood at $196.272 billion, down $4.713 billion from their level at the end of January 2023, the Bank of Israel reports. The level of reserves relative to GDP was 37.5%.
The Bank of Israel said the decline was the result of a revaluation of reserves of $3.836 billion and government transfers from abroad totaling $953 million, and was partly offset by transfers from the private sector totaling $76 million.
The Bank of Israel made no currency purchases last month, contradicting speculation that it intervened in currency trading to stem the shekel’s depreciation. Market sources said the shekel has weakened as a direct result of the government’s planned judicial overhaul.
In recent years, the Bank of Israel has purchased large amounts of foreign currency to weaken the shekel and help Israeli exporters. In 2021 alone, the Bank of Israel bought $35 billion in foreign currency.
Israel’s foreign exchange reserves reached a record $213 billion in December 2021.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – March 6, 2023.
© Copyright Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.
Governor of the Bank of Israel, Professor Amir Yaron Credit: Eyal Izhar, Tali Bogdansky