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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Seoul's Reserves Soar

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's foreign exchange holdings hit a new record high of $75.6 billion as of Jan. 15 and will continue to rise to $100 billion by year's end, the government said Monday.

The Jan. 15 figure was up from $74.5 billion at the end of last year, compared with a mere $7.2 billion recorded when South Korea sought a bailout from the International Monetary Fund in late 1997.

Government officials said foreign-currency reserves rose during the first 15 days of this month because local financial institutions paid off loans from the central bank.

South Korea's economy, which shrank 5.8 percent in 1998, dramatically turned around last year, expanding more than 10 percent.