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Mumbai, Jan. 10

INDIA'S forex reserves of $ 143.1 billion as of September 30, 2005 are adequate to meet 11.2 months' imports. In comparison, at the end of March 2005, forex reserves of $ 141.5 billion were adequate to meet 14.3 months' requirement, according to the Reserve Bank of India's report released on Tuesday.

The import cover of reserves is a traditional indicator of reserve adequacy.

During April-September 2005, current account deficit widened further to $ 13 billion, driven mainly by strong import demand, both oil and non-oil.

The ratio of short-term debt to foreign exchange reserves increased slightly to 5.8 per cent for September 2005, from 5.3 per cent end-March 2005.

The ratio of volatile capital flows (defined to include cumulative portfolio inflows and short-term debt) to reserves increased to 40.5 from 36.8 per cent.

Total foreign currency assets as on September 2005 were at $ 143.1 billion, up from $ 141.5 billion in March 2005. Of this $ 30.5 billion was invested in securities, $ 64.5 billion with other central banks and Bank of International Settlement and $ 41.9 billion in the form of deposits with foreign commercial banks.

The foreign exchange reserves are invested in multi-currency and multi-market portfolios.

During April-September 2005, the quantum of foreign direct investment was about $ 2.9 billion. Outstanding NRI deposits stood at $ 32.8 billion as on September 2005, marginally down from $ 32.9 billion as on March 2005.

Cumulative net foreign institutional investors investments increased to $ 40.3 billion by end-September 2005 from $ 35.9 billion end-March 2005.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 11, 2006)
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