RBI Gold Purchase;Forex Reserve:Basics Explained

Article:As FPI exits hit forex reserves, RBI stepped up gold purchases | Business News,The Indian Express

India’s gold holdings have gone up to 760.42 tonnes, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) adding another 16.58 tonnes of the yellow metal to the country’s foreign exchange kitty during the six months ended March 2022.                 

                 Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were exiting India and forex reserves declined by $44.73 billion from $642.45 billion in September 2021 to $597.72 billion on April 29, 2022, as per Reserve Bank data. India is the ninth-largest holder of gold reserves.


Foreign exchange reserves are assets denominated in a foreign currency that are held by a central bank.

Forex reserves are external assets in the form of gold, SDRs (special drawing rights of the IMF) and foreign currency assets (capital inflows to the capital markets, FDI and external commercial borrowings) accumulated by India and controlled by the RBI.

In India, the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934 contains the enabling provisions for the RBI to act as the custodian of foreign reserves, and manage reserves with defined objectives

Foreign exchange reserves are the foreign currencies held by a country’s central bank. A strong position in foreign currency reserves can prevent economic crises caused when an event triggers a flight to the foreign currency from the domestic market. They are called reserved assets in Balance of Payments and are located in capital account.

  • The most important reason to have reserve is  to manage one’s currencies values. They are usually used for backing the exchange rate and influencing monetary policy.
  • Reserves are always needed to make sure a country will meet its external obligations. These include international payment obligations, including sovereign and commercial debts. They also include financing of imports and the ability to absorb any unexpected capital movements.

1 . The most significant objective behind this is to ensure that RBI has backup funds if their national currency rapidly devalues or becomes altogether insolvent.

  1. If the value of the Rupee decreases due to an increase in demand of the foreign currency then RBI sells the dollar in the Indian money market so that depreciation of the Indian currency can be checked.
  2. A country with a good stock of forex has a good image at the international level because the trading countries can be sure about their payments.
  3. A good forex reserve helps in attracting foreign trade and earns a good reputation in trading partners.

India’s robust and swelling foreign exchange reserves provide confidence to credit rating agencies and prospective foreign investors that external obligations of the country can always be met and that India has the ability to manage the balance of payments. Hefty reserves guarantee timely payment for repatriation of profits and portfolio outflows, both crucial to attract direct and portfolio foreign investments

The High Level Committee on Balance of Payments (Chairman: C. Rangarajan), 1993, had recommended that the target for foreign exchange reserves be fixed in such a way that they are generally in a position to accommodate imports of 3 months. It may also be noted that the Committee on Capital Account Convertibility (Chairman: S.S. Tarapore), 1997 suggested an import cover of 6 months.

Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) consists of securities and other financial assets held by investors in another country. It does not provide the investor with direct ownership of a company’s assets and is relatively liquid depending on the volatility of the market. FPI holdings can include stocks, ADRs, GDRs, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds, done with the expectation of earning a return.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)Foreign portfolio investment (FPI)
An investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.Refers to investments made in securities and other financial assets issued in another country.
Directly investing in the productive assets of another nation.Investing in financial assets like the bonds and stocks of another country.
Active investors as they are involved in the day-to-day functioning and operation as well as strategic planning required by any domestic companies.Passive investors as are not involved in the day-to-day functioning
FDI investments are carried out with a longer horizon in mind as investors usually do not liquidate their assets and depart from the nation so is less volatileFPI assets are both widely traded and highly liquid so is volatile.



Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password