Gross international reserves hit Rs 112.02 billion in March 2014, increasing by Rs 1.81 billion over the previous month, according to data released yesterday by the central bank of Mauritius.
Bank of Mauritius stated that the gross international reserves of Mauritius maintained their upward trajectory last month, increasing by Rs 7.5 billion for the first quarter of 2014 to establish a record level of Rs 112.02 billion at the end of last month.
The level of the reserves, as calculated in US dollar, is estimated at USD 3.72 billion in March 2014 against USD 3.66 billion at the end of February 2014. Overall, the gross official international reserves increased by 14.1% or Rs 13.87 billion.
The gross reserves of the central bank grew from Rs 108.44 billion in February to Rs 110.26 billion at the end of March. The annual increase is estimated at Rs 13.68 billion.
The central bank also reported a slight appreciation in the rupee basis the Mauritius Exchange Rate Index (MERI), which is a weighted average of bilateral exchange rates for the Mauritian rupee. The index shows a summary of the rupee’s movements against the currencies of the important trading partners of the island economy.
Two indices are used by the central bank: Mauritius Exchange Rate Index-1(MERI1) and Mauritius Exchange Rate Index-2 (MERI2). It may be noted that a fall in the index represents an appreciation in the rupee.
Based on the currency distribution of merchandise trade, the MERI1 fell from 94.101 points in February to 94.053 points in March 2014, indicating an appreciation of the rupee. The index also fell compared to its level in March 2013, when it stood at 94.612 points.
The second index, the MERI-2, takes into account the distribution of currencies in trade as well as in tourism.
The MERI-2 was at 93.811 points in March 2014 against 93.819 points in the previous month and 94.271 points in March 2013. The fall in the index relative to both February 2014 as well as March 2013 also showed an appreciation of the rupee during the past 12 months.
Image (Reuters): The central bank also reported a slight appreciation of the rupee basis the Mauritius Exchange Rate Index (MERI), which is a weighted average of bilateral exchange rates for the Mauritian rupee.
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