The Central Bank of Israel announced its purchase of $2.99 billion in foreign currency last May, helping raise its foreign exchange reserves to a record high of $198.35 billion.
“Reserves, which represent 48.3% of Israel’s GDP, grew by $4.35 billion last month,” he said.
The bank indicated, earlier, that “it will buy foreign currencies worth 30 billion dollars in 2021 to try to stop the rise in the value of the Israeli shekel, after it bought what was worth 21 billion dollars in 2020.”
For his part, Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron said that “purchases may exceed 30 billion dollars this year, and that the bank bought foreign currencies by about 22 billion dollars in the first five months of this year.”
The shekel recorded 3.11 against the dollar on January 14, its strongest level since April 1996.
Monetary policy makers cited reasons for the strength of the shekel, including the global weakness of the dollar, strong inflows of foreign investment into Israel, and optimism that a rapid vaccination campaign for “Covid-19” vaccines will quickly lead to an economic recovery after 3 waves of closures.