The Bank of Israel bought over $20 billion in foreign currency in 2020, but the shekel still strengthened by 7% against the dollar.
Israel’s foreign exchange reserves rose over $47 billion in 2020, the Bank of Israel reports. This included foreign currency purchases of more than $20 billion and a revaluation that increased the reserves by the balance. Yet despite these huge foreign currency purchases, designed to moderate the strengthening of the shekel, the Israeli currency gained 7% against the US dollar in 2020 and ended the year at just above NIS 3.20/$ - a level not seen since October 1996.
As of the end of December 2020, the Bank of Israel said that the country's foreign exchange reserves stood at $173.307 billion, up $6.36 billion from their level at the end of November. The reserves represent 43.3% of GDP.
The increase was the result of foreign exchange purchases by the Bank of Israel totaling $4.405 billion and a revaluation that increased the reserves by $2.284 billion. The increase was partly offset by private sector transfers of $78 million and government transfers abroad totaling $251 million.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 7, 2021
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