Bank of Israel increases FX interventions to tame shekel

Central bank’s foreign reserves reach new record level

David Vaaknin

The Bank of Israel bought $4.4 billion of foreign exchange in December, its highest level since 2009, according to official data released on January 7.

The BoI carries out its FX purchases for two main reasons. It aims to offset the rise of the shekel against the US dollar, and to finance higher government expenditure due to the Covid-19 crisis.

As a result of these interventions, the BoI’s international reserves portfolio reached a new record high of $173.3 billion, or 43.3% of Israel’s GDP.

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